Upstairs, Downstairs
Books and magazines

Non-fiction books with wholly UpDown content

Inside UpDown – The Story of Upstairs, Downstairs by Richard Marson (2001) – "... a reconstruction of the making of a major television series from the first idea to the final frame." The one book to be sure to buy!
Backstairs With Upstairs, Downstairs by Patty Lou Floyd (1988) – A slightly disappointing "making of" book with an episode guide plus lots of details of unused plots.
The World Of Upstairs, Downstairs by Mollie Hardwick (1976) – An interesting semi-educational book which relates real history to the TV show and its characters.
Mrs Bridges' Upstairs, Downstairs Cookery Book edited by Adrian Bailey (1974) – "Upstairs" and "downstairs" recipes that Mrs Bridges might have cooked, with illustrations.

Richard's book about the making of the series has become the fans' bible. Just about everything you wanted to know about the series is within its covers.

Further details, and an interview with Richard, are elsewhere on this site.

Rather than being the comprehensive book about the production of the show that it aims to be, this work tends to stick more to reviewing the various story ideas which never made it to the screen.

All the King's Horses is given special treatment in a fascinating section which follows writer Jeremy Paul though his various draft scripts for this landmark episode.

If you can stand Patty Lou Floyd's very quirky writing style, this book is worth investigating if you can find it cheaply.

For a far better overall "making of" book, check out Richard Marson's Inside UpDown – The Story of Upstairs, Downstairs instead (above).

A very interesting hardback book looking at the real-life social and political conditions in Britain during the UpDown time period. This would still be very useful for non-UK viewers of the show who find themselves baffled at some of the references in the episodes.

The book contains many black and white photos – a few of them are from the show itself, but they are not particularly well chosen.

(The cover shown here is from the American edition, published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston. The UK edition was by David & Charles.)

A great little book purporting to be written by Mrs Bridges herself! Inside are loads of "receipts" that Mrs B would have made, including many (like Kedgeree, Côtes de Veau Talleyrand, Cottage Pie, Jam Roly Poly, and Spotted Dick) which were actually mentioned in the series. Whilst most would be perfectly edible today, I could live without ever tasting the Rook Pie (yes, made with real crows!)

One strange omission is Mrs Bridges' pièce de résistance, Baron of Lamb, which although mentioned in passing is not given as a recipe.

Bizarrely, the book was promoted by a personal advertisement in the "For Sale and Wanted" column of The Times newspaper: "Mrs Bridges is alive and well (she'll be back on your screens in the autumn). But for now she's giving away some of her secrets in her Upstairs, Downstairs Cookery Book, out this week."

The book was very widely published having both softcover editions (Sphere in the UK; Fireside in the US) and hardcover (Macmillan in the UK; Simon and Schuster in the US).

Non-fiction books with partial UpDown content

Understanding Television by John Howlins (1976) – An eight-page spread with photos entitled "The House That Jean Built" covers the making of A Perfect Stranger. See my Odds and ends page.
Both Ends Of The Candle by Alfred Shaughnessy (1978) – The Upstairs, Downstairs script editor's autobiography with strangely limited UD content (just one chapter).
Masterpieces: A Decade Of Masterpiece Theatre by Alastair Cooke (1981) – An American book with one chapter on Upstairs, Downstairs and a photo section (some in colour).
Twenty Seasons Of Mobil Masterpiece Theatre 1971-1991 by Gregory Vitiello (1991) – A bit vacuous with limited Upstairs, Downstairs content and black and white photos.
Masterpiece Theatre: A Celebration Of 25 Years Of Outstanding Television by Terence O'Flaherty (1996) – One chapter on Upstairs, Downstairs with different text and (colour) photos from the 10-year and 20-year versions, above. Occasional dubious accuracy but very nice presentation makes this by far the best of the three Masterpiece Theatre books.
A Confession In Writing by Alfred Shaughnessy (1997) – The Upstairs, Downstairs script editor's experiences in writing for different media. One chapter is devoted solely to UpDown.
Style In British Television Drama by Lez Cooke (2013) – Academic reader chiefly for media-studies students. UpDown is given a 20-page chapter which talks about the show in general before analysing a dinner-table scene from the first episode.


Upstairs, Downstairs – 64-page 1972 TV Times souvenir. Tells the story so far by entries from Hudson's diary, and includes factual articles about the UpDown era.
Evening Mail Upstairs, Downstairs Souvenir – Special 16-page 1974 newspaper insert celebrating the start of the fourth season. Interviews with cast and crew.
The Best Of Upstairs, Downstairs – Superb 1976 TV Times souvenir. 64 pages of photos, interviews and articles.
Upstairs, Downstairs Remembered – Slim 1996 LWT booklet giving a brief overview of the making of the show.
tvlife (issue 1) – Contains a text story Errand of Mercy by the Upstairs, Downstairs creator herself, Jean Marsh. See my Odds and ends page.
tvlife (issue 8) – Eight page colour pull-out on the show with various articles, pictures and a competition.

This 1972 special includes Hudson's memoirs on the events of the early episodes (up till Whom God hath Joined... in Season Two) and plenty of colour and black-and-white photos (and some fairly dubious artwork of the main characters). Unfortunately, though, a good half of the magazine occupies itself with factual articles about the Edwardian period rather than the Upstairs, Downstairs TV series. The special includes an introduction by JB Priestley.

The magazine was printed on rather fragile paper and is thus rarer than its 1976 counterpart, below.

The Birmingham Evening Mail produced its own 16-page souvenir (price 5p) to celebrate the show returning for Season Four in autumn 1974. Interviews with Jean Marsh, Gordon Jackson, David Langton, Alfred Shaughnessy, John Clements, Angela Baddeley, Christopher Beeny, Simon Williams, Rosemary Anne Sisson and Pauline Collins.

This special issue of the TV Times was published in early 1976 to coincide with the end of the TV show and provide a souvenir of the production. Packed with colour photos, it's practically faultless, though some sort of episode guide is conspicuous by its absence.

As part of the 25th anniversary of Upstairs, Downstairs, London Weekend Television repeated the entire first series in 1996. LWT's education unit asked for support literature to be issued and Richard Marson cannibalised bits of his embryonic Inside UpDown project for this 24-page booklet.

This booklet was only ever advertised in the London area and cost £2.

This issue of short-lived TV magazine, tvlife, contained various articles such as "Mr Hudson reflects on the war to end all wars" and "The life and times of the Bellamys", together with various articles on social history of the time, and an Upstairs, Downstairs competition.

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