Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle

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Broadway Paperbacks, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 310 pages
1256 Reviews

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey tells the story behind Highclere Castle, the real-life inspiration for the hit PBS show Downton Abbey, and the life of one of its most famous inhabitants, Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon and the basis of the fictional character Lady Cora Crawley.  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 brink of war.
 
Much like her Masterpiece Classic counterpart, 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 brave 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.

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Well researched and well written. - Goodreads
Good story, but the writing was a bit weak - Goodreads
An amazing history, very well-written and easy to read. - Goodreads
A fairly entertaining and educational read. - Goodreads
A fantastic insight into a very different world. - Goodreads
My complaint is I found the writing style a bit dull. - Goodreads

Review: Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle (The Women of the Real Downton Abbey #1)

User Review  - Dana - Goodreads

How you'll feel about this book really depends on what you're expecting. If you're just looking for a third person history of Highclere or if you want to learn more behind the history of Downtown ... Read full review

Review: Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle (The Women of the Real Downton Abbey #1)

User Review  - Camille - Goodreads

I learned quite a lot in this book, primarily about Highclere Castle, the benevolence of its owners, the horrors of WW1, and the excitement of the finding of the tomb of King Tut. That's a lot to pack ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

LADY FIONA CARNARVON married the current Earl of Carnarvon in 1999, and they took over Highclere eight years ago.

Bibliographic information