The only bad thing about Downton Abbey, the latest smash hit from across the pond, is that its seasons are too bloody short! I’d been looking forward to the second season ever since the first one ended, and now it’s all over already.

Britain in the first half of the 20th century is one of my favorite time periods. I love reading books and watching films set in the Edwardian, World War One and Interwar period. Part of the appeal is the whole upstairs/downstairs dichotomy and the inherent drama, which Downton Abbey has in spades.

My friend, Susan, who came late to the party but has made up for it with enthusiasm – she even made tea sandwiches and scones for the second season premiere – is a fellow Anglophile and a prime source of Downton Abbey miscellanea. To wit: these paper dolls, which she actually took the time to cut out and put on magnets. My favorite are the various facial expressions for the Dowager Countess:

Susan also sent me the link to Edwardian Promenade, a new favorite Internet haunt. They have an entire section devoted to Downton Abbey, including these tongue-in-cheek ‘Deleted Downton’ scenes, like this one between the mysterious Patrick/Peter and lovelorn Edith:

“I can’t imagine a worse fate!”

What books or movies are you using to alleviate your Downton Abbey withdrawal? And does anyone know when Season 3 will air in the States?

Edit: While searching for the website for the paper dolls, I came across this Huffington Post article comparing the three Crawley sisters to American Girls dolls. And while the AG dolls are nostalgic for a younger demographic than I (alas!), the comparison are clever and astute. They even look like the dolls.

The Huffington article linked to this one, which gives the US release date of Season 3 as “early 2013.” We have to wait a year?!? Someone get me to a fainting couch.