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

15946109Blurb

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey tells the story behind Highclere Castle, the real-life inspiration and setting for Julian Fellowes’ award-winning drama, and the life of one of its most famous inhabitants, Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon.

Almina expected a life of sumptuous banquets and expensive dresses when she married the Earl of Carnarvon at 19. But when the First World War broke out, life at Highclere changed forever and Almina and her staff were forced to draw on their deepest reserves of courage.

Drawing on a rich store of materials from the archives at Highclere, the current Lady Carnarvon has written a remarkable and transporting tale of a lost time.

My Perspective

This is the seventeenth book I read from my post Credit Where Credit’s Due. I read about  Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle by The Countess of Carnarvon from Cely at Running Off The Reese’s. Unfortunately you can’t read her thoughts on the book anymore as her blog was hacked and her posts deleted 😦

The book follows the true story of Almina Carnarvon nee Wombell from when she became the Countess of Carnarvon by marriage to the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, to his death in May 1923. It is written by the current Countess of Carnarvon from diaries and letters held in the archives of Highclere.

The story is basically a biography of the life of Lady Almina while she was Countess of Carnarvon. She was a force of nature and I really admire and respect her drive, especially during the war and the effort she went to with her hospitals.

I found it really interesting and I actually came away with a lot more respect for the upper classes of English society in those days. Not only their hard work during the war however the way that even though they were privileged and spent excessive amounts of money – nothing was wasted! I loved reading about the surrounding village people lining up to collect the drippings from one of the extravagant parties Lady Alimna held.

It was also interesting to read about the discovery of Tutankhamun’s tomb. I had no idea about the story behind it.

Reading about the servants and the way it all worked “downstairs” was super fascinating and gave a lot of insight to the culture of the large houses and estates back then.

Overall I would definitely recommend this book if you like historical novels, both fiction and non fiction.

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Credit Where Credit’s Due

Obviously as a good blogger one must connect with and follow other blogs. To be honest i do find this challenging. As an introvert, i am quite happy to be by myself, drawing my energy from being alone. However even if i was happy having no one follow me, really the point of a blog is to connect, share etc. so as my personality also dictates, if i’m going to do something at all, by jingo i’m going to do it well! (And to be honest, much as it horrifies the introvert in me, i really am enjoying the connections that i have made so far)

Anyway, this post is meant to be about the 28 books that i have read about from a few of the blogs that i follow. From reading their perspective/reviews, i was interested in reading the different books, so i downloaded the preview for each book (if there was one) and i have to say that i am looking forward EVEN MORE to reading them!

They are:

~ Summers In Supino: Becoming Italian by Maria Coletta McLean

~ Lincoln’s Grave Robbers by Steve Sheinkin

~ Last Chance for Justice by Kathi Macias

~ Untangling the Knot by Deanne Wilsted

~ French Illusions: My Story as an American Au Pair in the Loire Valley by Linda Kovic-Skow

~ Sihpromatum – I Grew my Boobs in China by Savannah Grace

~ The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs

~ Rose Harbor In Bloom by Debbie Macomber

~ The Violets of March by Sarah Jio

~ Chose the Wrong Guy, Gave Him the Wrong Finger by Beth Harbison

~ The Fairest of Them All by Carolyn Turgeon

~ Gone South – A Novel by Meg Moseley

~ One Day In Apple Grove by C H Admirand

~ The Perfume Collector by Kathleen Tessaro

~ Splintered by A.G. Howard

~ Rewrite Redemption by J.H. Walker

~ Planet of the Apes by Pierre Boulle

~ Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

~ Gaining Ground: A Story of Farmers’ Markets, Local Food, and Saving The Family Farm by Forrest Pritchard

~ Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle by The Countess of Carnarvon

~ Terra by Gretchen Powell

~ Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

~ How To Be An American Housewife by Margaret Dilloway

~ The Wife, the Maid and the Mistress by Ariel Lawhon

~ Murder at Honeychurch Hall by Hannah Dennison

~ Rose Cottage by Mary Stewart

~ Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

There was also a book that a blogger mentioned that they want to read and it sounded so intriguing i want to read it now too!

~ London Under by Peter Ackroyd

Anyway i have placed all of these books on my various wishlists and so i have quite a supply of gift ideas for my family 😉 I will be sure to review each book and it will be interesting if i share the same views of the blogger who posted about them!

Also in case you didn’t know (you would if you followed my other blog www.thechefandthewaitress.wordpress.com – yes a shameless self promotion!), Kel and i will be traveling to Europe and the UK via China for the next six weeks. Yep, that’s right. So i probably won’t be posting anything while we’re away due to limited WI-FI access plus I’m hoping that i will be too busy having too much fun!