If You Like 'Downton Abbey' You'll LOVE These Books

August 8, 2014 12:11 PM

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Four years ago I published my first novel. In the U.K. it is called My Last Duchess, a fancy reference to a poem by Robert Browning, but the U.S. title, The American Heiress, makes the subject matter clear. The American Heiress is about a "dollar princess" called Cora, who to satisfy the social ambitions of her mother, comes to England in the 1890's looking for to marry an Englishman with a title. Although she succeeds brilliant by "landing" and falling in love with a duke, she finds life in an English country house, with its complicated hierarchy of servants and an overbearing mother-in-law who despises her American ways, very taxing to navigate.

It sounds like the prequel to "Downton Abbey", and indeed that is what I thought when I watched the first season of "Downton" unfold a month after My Last Duchess was published in the U.K. Julian Fellowes, the creator of "Downton", might also have been looking over my shoulder as I was writing (alth...

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