It's just not the same.
I've been dealing with a rough stomach bug over the past 24 hours and when I was laid up in bed and/or laying on the bathroom floor, I was thinking, "'Downton would make it all better'". Just kidding, of course. But I turned to another fantastic period series...
If you haven't seen it already, or maybe even if you have, I dare you to check it out. The characters are multi-dimensional...they aren't just all good, or all bad...and at times that is what is annoying and brilliant..and very captivating, I have to say, as well. Just like "Downton", the sets, costumes, every detail is exceptionally done.
It's on Netflix Instant Play, FYI.
The Forsyte Saga is a series of three novels and two interludes (intervening episodes) published between 1906 and 1921 by Nobel Prize-winning English author John Galsworthy. They chronicle the vicissitudes of the leading members of an upper middle-class British family, similar to Galsworthy's own. Only a few generations removed from their farmer ancestors, the family members are keenly aware of their status as "new money". The main character, Soames Forsyte, sees himself as a "man of property" by virtue of his ability to accumulate material possessions—but this does not succeed in bringing him pleasure. - Wiki
The New York Times back in Sept of 2012 wrote an article saying that it was the success of "The Forsyte Saga" 10 years ago, that paved the way for "Downton". Read the NYT article "The Bodice Ripper that Started it All".
And, I like tall dark and handsome...do you know that about me? It has one of my most favorite character actors in what I think is, the best role in the series... Actor Rupert Graves plays Jolyon Forsyte. He's been in a ton of films and TV Series...from "A Room with a View" to the new, excellent, PBS "Sherlock Holmes". You'll recognize other "Forsyte" actors, too. It's a fantastic series to hop into.
Now, on to my BOOK RECOMENDATION :
Clara and Mr. Tiffany, by Susan Vreeland
I am so glad that my friend Jen, brought this to swap at our "Downton Abbey" Luncheon and Book Exchange...this is the book that I got that day!!!
This book is by far, one of my recent favorites. Historical Fiction = my favorite genre.
The author, Susan Vreeland, stumbled upon an exhibit that had been laced together from Clara Driscoll's letters and diary, proclaiming Clara and the artisans of Tiffany's Women's Studio to be the true artists and originators of many of the Tiffany treasures. Vreeland knew that there was a fascinating story to be told.
"Then, I settled down at home to six months of intriguing research, piecing together like a Tiffany Girl myself the narrative upon which my imagination thrived".
During the Gilded Age just before the turn of the twentieth century, Tiffany forged his reputation in stained-glass. His highly recognizable style blended Art Nouveau, the exoticism of the Aesthetics Movement, and his own adoration of nature.
Until recently, it was assumed that he was the designer of the celebrated leaded-glass lampshades. However, two collections of letters reveal that an unrecognized woman, Clara Driscoll, designed the floral shades as well as many of the bronze bases.
Clara and Mr. Tiffany presents these two figures--one the giant of American decorative arts, the other unknown--as they engage each other, collaborating, probing and frustrating each other, stumbling over their passions.
Driven by the Tiffany Family Imperative to honor his father, owner of Tiffany & Co., by surpassing his elder's fame and financial success, Tiffany confronts the central issue in the Arts and Crafts debate: art versus industry, and its concomitant, creative indulgence versus financial restraint.
Yearning to establish herself as a creator of exquisite pieces of art, and to be recognized publically, Clara is a vibrant, intelligent, wry woman, a leader whose challenge, like that of many women, is to decide what makes her most happy--the professional world of her hands, or the personal world of her heart.
The novel interprets her creative and personal life, her loves, losses, triumphs, and her startling decisions.
-Susan Vreeland, Random House
Reading "Clara and Mr. Tiffany" prompted me to Google some images after each chapter...it was so much fun to imagine right along with Susan Vreeland, how these female artisans were inspired to create the motifs that became ICONIC...what Tiffany art glass is known for. And Clara is, of course, in New York at quite an interesting time. It makes for a fun read.
|Clara's most iconic designs were there--Dragonfly and Wisteria (1901)|
--with suggested bids of $450,000 to $600,000.
|Maiden Feeding Flamingoes in the Court of a Roman House, Window, 1892. |
Made for the World's Columbian Exposition, 1893.
So, put "Forsyte Saga" and Clara and Mr. Tiffany on your "to do" list!!
I may just watch and read them over again if I don't get over this stomach bug today.