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Downton Abbey rejuvenates interest in Edwardian literature

Lisbeth Salander, your days at the top of bestsellers’ lists may be numbered.

The Toronto Star reports that the popular British television series Downton Abbey, which airs on PBS in North America, is creating a new demand for fiction circa the First World War.

Michelle Blackwell, marketing associate for Simon & Schuster Canada and a fan of the period drama, recently wrote a post for the publisher’s blog, instructing readers on how to “Downton Abbey-ize” their bookshelves, with titles such as Kate Morton’s The Forgotten Garden and Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman, which she says “stays in tune with the spirit of the [show’s] style.”

Rob Firing, director of publicity and communications for HarperCollins Canada, tells the newspaper that HarperCollins is preparing for the show’s huge, huge popularity by distributing titles by the late British author Margaret Powell.

Downton Abbey‘s storyline, which begins shortly after the sinking of the Titanic, may also help with sales of a couple new Canadian titles, including Paul Butler’s novel Titantic Ashes (Flanker Press) and Billeh Nickerson’s poetry collection Impact (Arsenal Pulp Press), which imagines what it must have been like to be onboard the great ship when it went down.