it's not something to watch, but a good book about the period is "the glitter and the gold," the (ghostwritten) autobiography of the duchess of marlborough (whose divorce was mentioned in passing at dinner or something on DA once). looks stuffy but it's surprisingly readable.
The show with Glenn Close is Damages. I never watched it, but it got decent reviews.
One of the underrated shows that I love is The Good Wife. Its got kind of that dramatic, soapy feel that Downton has but its very well written and acted with a lot of chemistry between all the characters. Obviously its not a period drama but its still excellent!
Janet, actually two of them have been made. The one I'm referring to, mid-1980's, is my fav. But Thames TV did not make it available on DVD until just the last couple of years, so you couldn't even purchase it thru PBS.
I thought with how famous Judi Dench had gotten they would have done so long before then!
The 2nd, also on Masterpiece, in 2003 I believe, isn't....bad, but it is much shorter, many of the characters were merged with others or eliminated completely. And didn't seem true to the books. Rosamund Pike played Fanny, who is supposed to be the plain cousin, and she was actually prettier than the girl playing Linda, who was supposed to be the glamorous one.
"There is so little love in the world and yet so much."
"Lark Rise to Candleford". Also the series about the woman doctor in the late 19th Century, played by Jemma Redgrave called "Bramwell". I am just now watching a detective series called "Wycliffe", set in Cornwall, scenery is stunning but it is from mid 20th Century. You might also like the series set in Ireland called "Ballykissangel".
Oh and thank you to whoever referenced "Foyle's War", I was trying to remember the name of this and could not. Really good series, I loved it.
"When written in Chinese, the word "crisis" is composed of two characters, one represents danger, the other represents opportunity."