Friday, February 21, 2014

Downton Abbey for Felines, Highclere Castle, Castle Howard - Anglophile Friday

For those of you who can't get enough Downton Abbey, ever, this book is a must-have. A friend gave it to me a few days ago, and while my husband was watching the Olympics on TV that evening, I was reading Downton Tabby and giggling a little too loudly. Now and then I would share a short passage with him, and although he would smile, the response wasn't quite the same as mine, of course. This book was definitely written for people like me, who know all the characters of Downton Abbey personally, (okay, maybe not personally, but you know...) and who have a ridiculous sense of humor.

I must give you a few snippets from the foreward:

'Downton Tabby, the stately Yorkshire home of the Earl and Catness of Grimalkin, their three kittens - the pretty one, the prettier one, and the other one...

'Their evil footcat; their handsome chau-fur; the blind cook; the dopey maid; and Boots, the saintly, long-suffereing valet who keeps getting framed for gnawing on things. I mean, over and over.

'Their lives, loves, births, deaths, marriages, affairs, prides, prejudices, senses, sensibilities, mills, flosses, cakes, ales, high teas...'

Anyway, see what I mean?

 Her Catness, wondering when the lazy maid is going to clean these filthy window sills!

 Castle Howard, North Yorkshire Moors

And why a photo of Castle Howard? Because of its location. In the TV episodes, Thirsk, Ripon, and Malton are named as nearby towns (or villages). So according to that, Castle Howard, if you were to look at a map of Yorkshire, sits exactly where Downton Abbey should be.  And by the way, if you ever have the opportunity, Castle Howard is a fantastic place to visit. Like many of these surviving houses, part of the house is occupied by the family and part is open to the public - for a fee, of course, to help with maintenance. It is quite spectacular and worth the visit. You could stay nearby and be close to York as well. And who wouldn't want to be close to York!

These are my favorite maps of Britain. They seem to be absent from the bookstores here, but occasionally I'll find them online and most of the ones I have I purchased at Tourist Information spots in Britain. They're really helpful, including all the B roads and little obscure places as well as sites of interest. I've pretty much worn mine out.

 The 'real' Downton Abbey
(or at least where it's filmed)
Highclere Castle in Hampshire,
nowhere nearYorkshire.

Blue Dot - Castle Howard
Red Dot - Highclere Castle

I'm still trying to decide whether or not it would be worth it to visit Highclere Castle. After all, it might be disappointing that the Crawley clan wouldn't be lined up in front of the great house, waiting to greet me. Of course, if I could be assured that O'Brien would be there to kick the crutch out from under Bates...(that was put in here because my daughter *loves* Bates and I think he's a total LOSER.)  :-))

Okay okay! I'm just kidding! Sheesh!  :-) 

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'Lady Mary'
of Downton Abbey fame
Natural, Handcrafted Vegan Soap

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E.lizabeth said...

i love the show ... i have seen the book on another friends' blog ... so it must be great for folks who love their cats & other creatures. happy weekend, Mrs. Cranberry. ha. ha!! big big hugs. ( :

Kim said...

Haha Sounds like a fun book. I love that show. I only wish there were more episodes per season.
P.S. I love Bates. But wish Mosesley would get run over by a travelling circus caravan ;)

Butterfly 8)(8 Bungalow said...

I have never watched it, but the books looks cute, and I loved Yorkshire when I visited.

I get a kick out of the Magnum PI series. My husband and I know Hawaii really well, and we always know when he is going the wrong direction.

camp and cottage living said...

Ha! I'm beginning to have my doubts about Bates too-we shall see.
This was interesting. I want to go to the Isles, so knowing about the better tourist map is helpful.
Your book sounds fun!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

What a cute book. I will have to check that out!

I am going to a Downton Dinner on Sunday. Should be fun!



Lady Linda said...

Judy, how are you feeling by the way? Oh, just love your post. I am a total DA fan. The sessions go by too quickly. It's so well done.

MadSnapper said...

this is like the inside joke that families have.. makes no sense unless we were there.
i do love that photo of the castle just above the map. gorgeous and so is the sweet kitty looking out the window... i just finished cleaning my window sills and i was embarrassed to see the water when i was done.

Anonymous said...

The book sounds wonderful!

I hope you are feeling well and that you'll enjoy the weekend.

Love the pic of your precious cat.

Margaret Birding For Pleasure said...

HI Judy Yes I love Downton and that book sounds like fun to read.

Vee said...

You don't like Bates? I gotta go...

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What a cute book! You really have me curious now! heehee! Enjoy your day!

Susie said...

That book is so cute. I know I would have loved it and I have not watched one episode of the show. I will have to get the dvd's. I like the wonderful pictures. Hope your weekend is fun filled. xoxo,Susie

Denise said...

Love the castles, and the book sounds really funny.

Donna said...

How funny!

Carla from The River said...

You will not believe this! Atticus just ordered this book from the library. Atticus' favorite is Granny.

Lana's LIfe said...

I so have to try and start watching this show... I just can't seem to find the time to do it! I feel like I am missing out on a whole other life!

Dar said...

I'm another who has not met the DA clan...I'm missing out, I understand. I never was much of a tv buff...but there's always a first time.
Stay warm for this has been one miserable, cold winter in our WI.

NanaDiana said...

Oh- What a funny book!!! I love it. I wish there would be a lot more episodes of it though.

How interesting about the maps..glad you can find some online. xo Diana

Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse said...

I had a hard time reading your post as his Feline Majesty wanted to sit in front of the screen. Now I'm typing with only my left hand as His Feline Majesty agreed to sleep on my lap only if his head could rest on my right hand...

Terri D said...

What a great book, and you know how I love Downton Abbey. I may have to look for that book! LOL (I sort of think Bates is a loser, too. Liked him a lot at first...don't like what they've done with his character!)

Marianne (Mare) Baker Ball said...

love Downton Abbey. ESPECIALLY Bates! He and Anna are my favorite. Thomas is the one I could do without!

J_on_tour said...

I must say I must be the only person who has never seen an episode of Downton Abbey ! I've never understood why they pretend Highclere is in the vicinity of Castle Howard. Much overdue for a visit to Castle Howard.
I was in Kettlewell last week for 4 days and passed through Ripon on the way back.


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