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The World of Downton Abbey

The World of Downton Abbey

Virginia Newmyer and Susan Willens

THIS CLASS IS NOW FULLY ENROLLED. To reserve a spot on the waitlist, please email

Dates: 1-3 p.m.

January 15, 16, 17
February 12, 13, 14
March 12, 13, 14
April 16, 17, 18
May 7, 8, 9

Price: $120 ($100 members)

January: Ann Veronica, H. G. Wells
February: Heartbreak House, George Bernard Shaw
March:The Ghost Road, Pat Barker
April: To The Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
May: Brave New World, Aldous Huxley

REFUND POLICY: Please note that we can only issue class refunds within seven (7) days of the first class session.

The popular television series “Downton Abbey” dramatizes events in early 20th-century British history, from the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 through the World War and the post-war years. Through events great and small, the Earl and Countess of Grantham, their family, their servants, and their community love, learn, suffer and grow.  Their experiences represent those of their real-life countrymen. In this course, participants will read fiction about the period, hear lectures about the events and personalities that shaped and reacted to it, and discuss their responses to it. Virginia Newmyer, historian, and Susan Willens, literature professor, will present this five-meeting course with one book each month January through May, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons from one to three, according to this schedule: January 15, 16, 17; February 12, 13, 14; March 12, 13, 14; April 16, 17, 18; May 7, 8, 9.


Virginia Newmyer has lectured frequently for the Smithsonian Institution in Washington and in Great Britain on a wide variety of topics in British history and literature. She also teaches at OLLI at American University, as well as Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton and Jupiter. For five years she and Susan Willens have been holding classes at Politics & Prose that examine the threads that join British fiction and history. She has been crazy about English novels since she was twelve years old.

Dr. Susan Willens, emerita professor of English at George Washington University, has joined Virginia Newmyer in offering classes on British history and literature at Politics & Prose for many years. She also teaches at the Smithsonian Resident Associates Program, the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute, and other book-discussion classes. She is an incurable teacher!






Promotional Period: 
Jan 15 2013 - May 9 2013

The Ghost Road (Mass Market Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780452276727
Availability: Not currently shipping from publisher – Subject to future availability
Published: Plume, 11/1996

To the Lighthouse (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780156907392
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mariner Books, 1/1981

Brave New World (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9780060850524
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 10/2006

Ann Veronica (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9781420941500
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published:, 1/2011

Heartbreak House (Paperback)

ISBN-13: 9781420930399
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published:, 1/2007