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

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Crown/Archetype, Dec 27, 2011 - Biography & Autobiography - 320 pages
33 Reviews

The real-life inspiration and setting for the Emmy Award-winning Downton Abbey, Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey tells the story behind Highclere Castle 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 brink 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 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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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - pennsylady - LibraryThing

With Lady Almina's presence, the doors of Highclere Castle are opened to tend the wounded of WW1. "The story is described as an inspiring and revealing picture of the woman at the center of the history of Highclere Castle." 7 audio discs Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ChristineEllei - LibraryThing

Having recently become a fan of the television series Downton Abbey I was curious to find out a little more about the “real” Downton Abbey. This book satisfied my curiosity but only to a certain ... Read full review

All 4 reviews »


Pomp and Circumstance
Welcome to Highclere
Almina Debutante
A Triumph for Her Ladyship
Life Downstairs Photo Insert 1
Dressing for Dinner
Edwardian Egypt
Hospital on the Move
Death in the Trenches Photo Insert 3
The Dark Times
The Promised
From War to Peace
Another Glittering Season Photo Insert 4
Wonderful Things

The Passing of the Golden Age Photo Insert 2
The Summer of 1914
Call to Arms
Paradise Lost
War Heroes
Alminas Legacy
Picture Acknowledgements

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About the author (2011)

FIONA, New York Times bestselling author and the 8th Countness of CARNARVON, married Geordie, the 8th Earl of Carnarvon, in 1999, and aceded to Highclere ten years ago upon the death of Geordie's father. Highclere has become one of the most famous houses in England as the location for the PBS series Downton Abbey. She is also the author of the companion piece, Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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