The most popular drama in PBS history, Downton Abbey,  returns tonight, in its fifth season (there will be a sixth, and while there is speculation that it will be the final one, there are also rumors of a spinoff movie).

In celebration of the new season, the New York Times offers an episode-by-episode look at the historical context of the series with links to NYT stories (in 1913, British suffragist, Sylvia Pankhurst, addressed the question, “Shall American Women Become Militant?”).

Entertainment Weekly runs down the  “new faces of Downton Abbey” (as if anyone cares — all that really matters is whether Maggie Smith is still on the show and, happily, she is).



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A Year in the Life of Downton Abbey: Seasonal Celebrations, Traditions, and Recipes
Jessica Fellowes, Julian Fellowes
Macmillan/St. Martin’s: October 28, 2014

Downton Abbey: Rules for Household Staff
by “Carson” (the show’s head butler )
Macmillan/St. Martin’s Griffin: November 25, 2014

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