Authors of the era Live

The Voyage Out by Virginia Woolf

Woolf’s debut novel, published in 1915, follows an eclectic mix of passengers on a ship bound for South America and offers a satirical look at Edwardian life. The novel also introduces us to Clarissa Dalloway, the main character of arguably Woolf's most famous book Mrs. Dalloway, which was published in 1925.

by CBC Books

Dubliners by James Joyce

This collection of 15 short stories depicting the Irish middle class in and around Dublin was first published in 1914, during a period when Irish nationalism was gathering strength and tensions mounted over British rule. Downton fans will know that some of these issues of sovereignty and political expression are explored through the Irish character Tom Branson.

by CBC Books

My Man Jeeves by P.G. Wodehouse

One of England’s most popular writers of the time, Wodehouse was known for his humourous take on the British upper class. One of his most famous creations is Jeeves, the intelligent and sophisticated butler who often saves the day for the feckless members of the idle rich he is employed by. His short story collection My Man Jeeves was first published in 1919.

by CBC Books

Delia Blanchflower by Mary Augusta Ward

The role of women in society and their struggle for political equality are prominent themes in the show, with several of the characters getting involved (or condemning) the suffragette movement. One of the era’s bestselling authors was Mary Augusta Ward. She was against women getting the vote and wrote novels, such as Delia Blanchflower, that were essentially platforms from which to criticize the movement. Her books offer insight into the complex feelings that many women of the time had for the social change taking place.  
by CBC Books

Maurice by E.M. Forster

Although this novel wasn’t published until 1971 after Forster’s death, the English novelist wrote it in 1913-1914. It follows a young man named Maurice Hall who engages in a secret relationship with friend and school mate Clive Durham. The novel examines English attitudes toward same-sex love, as well the unfortunate lengths people went to conceal or repress their feelings. In Downton Abbey, these issues are explored through the character of Thomas Barrow, the underbutler, who experiences everything from acceptance to harsh judgement from those who know of his homosexual orientation. 

by CBC Books

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