Read the Memoir that Inspired Downton Abbey (among others)
Below stairs: the classic kitchen maid's memoir that inspired "Upstairs, downstairs" and "Downton Abbey" by Margaret Powell — A very conversational memoir of a kitchen maid turned cook in the early half of the twentieth century. Margaret Powell is frank and entertaining while she relates growing up in poverty, beginning to earn a wage, and finding a husband. It's easy to see how this inspired the creators of Upstairs Downstairs, Gosford Park, and Downton Abbey.
Upstairs, downstairs. The complete first season, Volumes 1 & 2 [videodisc] by London Weekend Television
Upstairs, downstairs [videodisc] by BBC Cymru Wales
Gosford Park [videodisc] by USA Films presents in association with Capitol Films and the Film Council a Sandcastle 5 production in association with Chicagofilms and Medusa Film
Downton Abbey. Season 1, Disc 1 [videodisc] by a Carnival/Masterpiece co-production