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Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey [Paperback]

Countess of Carnarvon
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 16.99
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Book Description

Oct. 2 2012
Lady Fiona Carnarvon became the chatelaine of Highclere Castle - the setting of the hit series Downton Abbey - eight years ago. In that time she's become fascinated by the rich history of Highclere, and by the extraordinary people who lived there over the centuries.

One person particularly captured Fiona's imagination - Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon.

Almina was the illegitimate daughter of banking tycoon Alfred de Rothschild. She was his only daughter and he doted on her. She married the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, at 19, with an enormous dowry.

At first, life at Highclere was a dizzying mix of sumptuous banquets for 500 and even the occasional royal visitor. Almina oversaw 80 members of staff - many of whom came from families who had worked at Highclere for generations.

But when the First World War broke out, life at Highclere changed forever.

History intervened and Almina and the staff of Highclere were thrown into one of the most turbulent times of the last century. Almina was forced to draw on her deepest reserves of courage in order to ensure her family, the staff and the castle survived.

This is the remarkable story of a lost time. But Highclere remains and in this book, Fiona weaves Almina's journey and those of her family into the heritage and history of one of England's most exquisite Victorian castles.

Frequently Bought Together

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey + Lady Catherine and the Real Downton Abbey + The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook: From Lady Mary's Crab Canapes to Mrs. Patmore's Christmas Pudding - More Than 150 Recipes from Upstairs and Downstairs
Price For All Three: CDN$ 42.33

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Product Details

Product Description


bright, breezy and unpretentious in style.—Guardian

About the Author

Lady Fiona Carnarvon married the current Earl of Carnarvon in 1999, and they took over Highclere eight years ago.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lady Almina and the real Downnton Abbey July 13 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a very interesting book. This woman was vibrant and full of energy. Before WWI she did the ordinary things aristocrats did: entertaining, went to London for the social season and travelled, especially to Egypt with her husband. He was fascinated by all things Egyptian and was one of the main financial backers of the excavation of Tutankamen's Tomb. Unfortunately he died of septicaemia caused by an infected mosquito bite before they actually entered the inner Tomb. During WWI Lady Almina used their house as a hospital for wounded soldiers. Her hospital was one of the best of the time. I bought this book through Amazon.com and it certainly is a good read if you are curious about how some of the aristocracy lived in that period of time. The facts are not quite as the Downton Abbey story line seems to be heading.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almina,Countess of Downton Abbey May 2 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I wanted some background to the movie. This book gave me much of the real background, it did tend to get boring in places. It's good if you want to know more about the real place, it has none of the stuff from the movie.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars very informational June 3 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Great book finished it quickly and passed it on to anothe Downton Abbey fan. It certainly tied things together as far as the real history.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Hubby and I both enjoyed this book. The storyline was gripping and the history made it all very real. Would recommend it to all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Charming Slice of History Sept. 13 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
An enthralling view into a bygone era that is part memoir, part history lesson. It lends insight and breathes life into past events, both famous and not, and shows the humanity behind the headlines of WW I, and the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb. Through facts, history, and some charming speculation, the book weaves a fascinating look behind the doors old English aristocracy that is a delight to read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great history June 22 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This was a gift. And the recipient Loved it as a historical account of the real Downtown Abbey. Great book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really great historical story May 24 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really love watching Downton Abbey on television, but thanks to the Countess of Carnarvon for sharing this great family story.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very well done! March 8 2014
By Adee1
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is wonderful if you're hooked on Downton Abbey, and want the real story. It has helped me to understand the series better. Or, if you would like some insight into 1900 - 1920 in Europe. Very historical, takes you through WW1, and the devastation of that war. Great read and now I'm looking forward to reading about Lady Catherine.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book
Loved the way the author took you into a different era. Get past the first two chapters then your hooked
Published 8 months ago by tamara leeder
4.0 out of 5 stars Lady Almina
I enjoyed reading about Lady Almina and the real Downton Abbey. The work she did establishing the hospitals and her life in general even the parts about WW 1
Published 8 months ago by Marge
5.0 out of 5 stars British Society early 20th Century
A look into the lives of people of influence and wealth early in the 20th Century. A very interesting book..
Published 9 months ago by granny4
5.0 out of 5 stars Have not read it yet
But look forward to doing so as a Downton Abbey fan! This is the true story of Highclere Castle and how some of its history has been incorporated into the show.
Published 11 months ago by Dishinguppraise
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written and historical
As I mentioned, this book is lovingly written but also contains, of interesting history.,.e.g. Egyptian hi story and World War facts. Read more
Published 11 months ago by mejt
4.0 out of 5 stars So many people and so many dates.............
To read Lady Almina's life was fascinating as you learn that she was a woman before her time. She had such drive and compasion for the soldiers in need. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Diane
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect In Every Way
Just started to watch The Downton Abbey series during the 3rd season, this book gives a full background of the real Downton Abbey and the reality of the times. Loved it!
Published 14 months ago by Elva Sullivan
5.0 out of 5 stars Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abby
I like the way you can see how life was lived in that time
Ladies did not have many if any choice but to marry well,
I you did not well you just made the best of... Read more
Published 18 months ago by abc
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