Title: Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle
Author: The Countess of Carnarvon
Type: Trade Paperback
Synopsis: Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey tells the story behind Highclere Castle, the real-life inspiration and setting for Julian Fellowe's Emmy Award-winning PBS show, Downton Abbey, and the life of one of its most famous inhabitants, Lady Almina the 5th Countess of Carnarvon. Drawing on a rich store of materials from the archives of Highclere Castle, including diaries, letters, and photographs, the current Lady Carnarvon has written a transporting story of this fabled home on the brin of war.
Much like her Masterpiece Classic counterpart, Lady Cora Crawley, Lady Almina was the daughter of a wealthy industrialist, Alfred de Rothschild who married his daughter off at a young age, her dowry serving as the crucial link in the effort to preserve the Earl of Carnarvon's ancestral home. Throwing open the doors of Highclere Castle to tend to the wounded of World War I, Lady Almina distinguished herself as a rave and remarkable woman.
This rich tale contrasts the splendor of Edwardian life in a great house against the backdrop of the First World War and offers an inspiring and revealing picture of the woman at the center of the history of Highclere Castle.
My Review: With being a fan of Downton Abbey I must say I loved this book. Not only did I read things that I have seen in the tv show but I also learned a little more about the real family from Highclere. I am glad that this was written by someone who is a part of the family. I think she did a great job telling the family's history. The writing was done so well that you felt more like you were reading a novel rather than a non-fiction book. When reading this book you can feel the love that Almina has for her husband the 5th Earl of Carnarvon. Lady Almina was at her best when she was nurturing people. It was very neat to learn that the Earl found King Tut's tomb, I did not know that he did that. I felt saddened for Almina when the Earl passed away but she was able to keep going by nurturing once again. It was nice to hear that the real Highclere castle is run like a big family. I highly recommend this book to all lovers of Downton Abbey. 5 Stars