Review: Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey by The Countess of Carnarvon

Title: Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey
Author: The Countess of Carnarvon
Publisher: Broadway Paperbacks
Publication Date: December 27, 2011
paperback, 310 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7704-3562-2
Genre: Biography
Source: Publisher 

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey tells the story behind Highclere Castle, the real-life inspiration and setting for Julian Fellowes’s Emmy Award-winning PBS show, 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.

My thoughts:
Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey is an interesting biography about the residents of Highclere Castle aka Downton Abbey. This book follows the life of Lady Almina, an extraordinary woman who lived a very full life.  Lady Almina had a scandalous parentage that people in the Edwardian period frowned upon but her large dowry made them overlook it.  She caught the eye of Earl of Carnarvon and married young. She made Highclere her home and entertained everyone from royalty to famous authors. During World War I she opened the doors to Highclere and made this luxurious house into a hospital. Lady Almina found her calling in nursing. She spent countless hours tending to the wounded, writing to their families and offering words of comfort to the soldiers. 
The Earl of Carnarvon is most famous for the discovery of King Tutankhamun's tomb along with Howard Carter. Although the discovery came late in his life, the Earl had a lifelong appreciation for history. Lady Almina supported him in his ventures and often accompanied him on various trips to Egypt. 
There are many similarities to the show Downton Abbey and the life at Highclere Castle. The contents of this book are taken from journals, letters, and visitor accounts. The Countess of Carnarvon has included many photographs that help put names to faces. Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey is a great biography. It's really enjoyable to read. Fans of Downton Abbey will enjoy getting the scoop on the factual events behind the show. Fans of history will enjoy getting a inside look of what it was to live in a fine house during the Edwardian era.
My rating:


  1. I loved your Review, I can't wait to read this Book.
    God Bless

    1. Thank you Ingrid. I hope you like this book. It's s really interesting book. It really helped me understand the time period.

  2. I am a huge Downtown Abbey fan so I have to check this one out!

    Following through the Blogger Conference! Hope you are enjoying it!

    1. Hi Lee. I'm a huge fan of Downton Abbey also. I am enjoying the BBPOC conference. I'm learning so much. Thank you for stopping by.

  3. I haven't watched Downton Abbey yet, but everyone is raving about it so I've put it on my Netflix queue. This book sounds really interesting! I'll have to check it out!

    I just wanted to say hi - I found your blog through BBPOC. I really appreciate all the advice you and the others have given - it's so great for a newbie like me! I'm looking forward to reading more from you! New follower! ;)

    Andrea (The Overstuffed Bookcase)

    1. Hi Andrea! It's so great to meet you as well. I really enjoy getting advice from my peers too. It helps a lot. You definitely need to add Downton Abbey to your queue. I highly recommend it. Thanks for stopping by.


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