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Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey

by The Countess of Carnarvon

Full-color photographs included throughout.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. 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.

Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey

by The Countess of Carnarvon

Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey, a transporting companion piece to the New York Times bestseller Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey, tells the story of Catherine Wendell, the beautiful and spirited American woman who married Lady Almina's son, the man who would become the 6th Earl of Carnarvon. The couple presided over Highclere Castle, the grand estate that serves as the setting for the hit PBS show Downton Abbey. Following the First World War, many of the great houses of England faded as their owners fortunes declined in the new political and social world of the 1920s and 1930s. As war loomed, Highclere's survival as the family home of the Carnarvons was again in the balance--as was peace between the nations of Europe. Using copious materials--including diaries and scrapbooks--from the castle's archives, the current Countess of Carnarvon brings alive a very modern story in a beautiful and fabled setting, paying particular attention to the staff who provide Highclere Castle with continuity between generations.From the Trade Paperback edition.atherine's husband joined the navy while Porchey's new wife quickly left for America.Highclere Castle and the Estate were turned into homes for evacuee children as well as lodging for soldiers. Porchey joined the war effort as an army adjutant (later a liaison officer) and was commended by the Americans stationed near Highclere. Catherine and Porchey's son Henry also joined the war in 1943 and fought in Italy. Like other wives and mothers, Catherine endured the unbearable stress of waiting for news of two beloved people in her life. Using copious materials - including diaries and scrapbooks - from the castle's archive, the New York Times Bestselling author the Countess of Carnarvon brings alive a very modern story in a beautiful and famous setting, paying particular attention not just to the goings on upstairs, but also to the butler, footmen, and other staff whose lives downstairs kept the Castle moving forward into the twentieth century.From the Trade Paperback edition.

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