Will Maisie Dobbs Become the Next Downton Abbey?
Written by Katie Schmierbach. Media by Stephen Hillrich.
With over a million copies sold, the Maisie Dobbs Series has captured the hearts of historians and espionage enthusiasts alike. This post World War One detective has captivated audiences with her diverse series of novels, but will she be able to gain popularity on the silver screen?
The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is rumored to be in the process of turning the book series into a television show. Author Jacqueline Winspear [blog] [Facebook] has covered the lifespan of detective Maisie Dobbs through ten gripping novels with an eleventh to be released on March 17th of this year.
When Maisie Dobbs was thirteen, she was forced to quit school and became a maid after the tragic death of her mother. Maisie worked for London aristocracy with a mysterious employer, Lady Rowan. They become close friends and Lady Rowan comes to realize Maisie’s acute intelligence and keen observation skills. Lady Rowan relieved Maisie of her maid duties and sent her away to the finest academies in Europe in order to further her education. She eventually became a psychologist and one of the very first female detectives, whose sleuthing skills are comparable to that of Sherlock Holmes. In the series, Maisie Dobbs solves some of the world’s most thrilling mysteries, while maintaining a ladylike appearance of class and poise.
After becoming a detective, the British involvement of World War One began and Maisie felt called to help with the cause. She began as a nurse in the war and fell in love with a young man in the midst of battle. Their love story expands throughout the entire series, leaving readers wanting to find more about her mysterious lover. After World War One, Maisie continues to take on clients who have a variety of cases that only she can solve. Her clients reside all around the world, leaving Maisie to find all sorts of new adventures throughout her travels.
This historical fiction series accurately depicts the time of London during the 1920’s and 1930’s. Winspear does a wonderful job of explaining how World War One affected the nation of both soldiers and noncombatants alike. Maisie encounters soldiers, grieving lovers, and nurses who have all lost someone in the War or have been emotionally scarred by the sights. She is able to empathize with these people because she too has been damaged by her involvement in the war. Throughout the series, Maisie tries to conceal her past with little luck.
This cozy British novel series would make a wonderful TV show with heartbreak, suspense, and intrigue. The British show Downtown Abbey [Facebook] can be juxtaposed to the stories of Maisie Dobbs. Both shows start prior to World War One and depict the hardships on the home front, including the loss of loved ones. Author Jacqueline Winspear is a fan of Downton and believes that her books and the television show emphasize the struggles and changing roles of women in the early 1900’s. If produced, Winspear hopes that the Maisie Dobbs Series will draw in the equivalent or even more than the 8 million viewers of Downton Abbey, but only time will tell.