Press reports are appearing that recognize the need for something to replace the void now left by the termination of the Downton Abbey TV series. The Huffington Post in its Off the Shelf column contains an article by Kerry Fiallo recommending a dose of Brideshead Revisited (in either written or DVD format). Here’s an excerpt:
A beautifully written novel, it is Waugh’s most introspective and personal work; like Charles and his best friend, Sebastian, Waugh struggled with alcoholism, class prejudice, religion, and his own complicated sexuality. It is also one of the most pro-Catholic texts I’ve ever read that also features openly gay characters, infidelity, divorce, and an agnostic narrator who battles against his lover’s staunch Catholic family, themselves adrift in an overwhelmingly Protestant country.
An earlier Off the Shelf column listed 9 other books, including Downton Tabby, which as you may have guessed is about aristocats.
The Toronto Star, on the other hand, devotes a column exclusively to DVD and streaming choices of films or TV series based on interwar novels as Downton replacements. Brideshead is among the recommendations:
Brideshead Revisited (1981): Laurence Olivier and John Gielgud popped by to add class to this adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s novel that pulls off the miraculous feat of turning a thesis on Roman Catholicism into an engrossing soap opera.
Others on the Star’s list include Upstairs, Downstairs, A Room with a View and The Remains of the Day (1993)