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Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey (The Women of the Real Downton Abbey #2)

3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  1,851 Ratings  ·  325 Reviews
Highclere Castle has a new resident, the daughter-in-law of Lady Almina, an American beauty from New York and a descendant of famous American families.

Catherine Wendell first met Lord Porchester (Porchey), son of Lady Almina, the heir to Highclere and 6th Earl of Carnarvon, in Gibraltar. At just 19 and utterly entrancing, she had already received many proposals of marriage
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Paperback, 368 pages
Published October 29th 2013 by Broadway Books (first published January 1st 2013)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Hayley
Nov 22, 2014 Hayley rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
As amazing as the history of Highclere is, Countess Carnarvon can't write. Such a shame.
Will Cross
Oct 26, 2013 Will Cross rated it did not like it
Misdemeanours and Sloppy Errors

The basis of this elegantly written sketch on the life and times of Catherine Wendell, the Sixth Countess of Carnarvon - with a fleeting glance to Tilly Losch, the other Sixth Countess- is that it’s another Highclere spin off to cash-in on its television fame. Both women married Porchey- the Sixth Earl, who spent his life hunting, shooting and flirting.

The Earl was a rascal who rode race horses and was an over active sex pest to womankind. The Carnarvons display c
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Erin
Jul 30, 2014 Erin rated it liked it
Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....

Fiona Carnarvon's Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey fell into my lap. My mother had learned of and recommended the book's predecessor after I'd turned her onto the television series, but I hadn't found time to pick it up. That said, my curiosity had been sparked, so it wasn't all that surprising when I jumped at the opportunity to review book two. Unfortunately, my optimistic expectations crumbled when fac
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Rebecca Huston
Following the first book, Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle, I was looking forward to the next book, which covered the next generation of the Carnarvon family. While I did like the stories of Porchey and Catherine, most of the book was just a scandal sheet. Items of interest -- Porchey's involvement with the Royal family, especially in the Edward VIII/Wallis Simpson scandal, divorce among the aristocracy, and two inserts of black and white photos, a map ...more
Judy Benvin
Dec 18, 2013 Judy Benvin rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned
I gave this book 2 stars because I just couldn't force myself to finish it. Reading the dictionary would have been more interesting. Facts. Facts. Facts. I found it very hard to get 'connected' with any of the wealthy people who lived at Highclere during this time period. Perhaps the author could have thrown in more human interest stories.
Kathleen C
Nov 19, 2013 Kathleen C rated it really liked it
Lady Catherine, The Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey, by the current Countess Carnarvon, Fiona, is a must for any Anglophile. Particularly, those who are addicted to Downton Abbey. This is the second book by Countess Carnarvon. The first was 2011's Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey : The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle.

Both books center around the Countess of the title. Lady Almina was the chatelaine during the first World War, and was the mother of the titular Earl of the second book. She
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Christina (Confessions of a Book Addict)
Catherine Wendell grew up in America, but after a family tragedy, her mother uprooted the whole family to England. While on vacation, she meets Porchey or Lord Porhester, the man who is eventually going to become the 6th Earl of Carnarvon. Porchey's father, the famous Lord Carnarvon who discovered King Tut's tomb along with Howard Carter, died suddenly making Porchey the next Earl rather quickly. Although he should find a rich American bride to help maintain and pay for Highclere Castle, his ...more
Beth Strand
Nov 17, 2013 Beth Strand rated it it was amazing
If You Love Downton Abbey, You’ll Adore “Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey”
If you, like me, watch enthralled as each new episode of “Downton Abbey” arrives, you’ll love this book written by the current Countess of Carnarvon. This is one of those wonderful books where the facts are almost better than the fiction. Exceptionally well-written and entertaining, “Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey” picks up the story of the Earls of Carnarvon in the early 1920’s an
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Sandra Strange
This one wasn't nearly as entertaining as the other of the pair about Highclere, the real Downton Abbey, because this generation of English aristocracy isn't as fascinating. This earl comes across as a philandering, egotistical stinker, and his lady Catherine as one of his victims just isn't strong enough to carry the entire book.
Samantha Claire
I received this book courtesy of the publisher for reviewing purposes.

Though certainly fascinating and well-researched, I wasn't able to connect with this book. I likely would have enjoyed it more if I had read the previous installment before starting this one. I may purchase the book and try again once I have done so.
Anne
Mar 29, 2015 Anne rated it it was amazing
I loved it
I am reading the books in the wrong order as I have started the one about Lady Almina now. This is the generation BEFORE Lady Catherine
Jen
Oct 13, 2014 Jen rated it it was ok
Imagine you are at a dinner party. You are sat by a rather nice lady with some aristocratic history. She starts telling you all about her family. At first it's really interesting and you are just fascinated, but by the time the main dish is served, she's gone through the important stuff, and now she's telling you about people you don't know and trying to white wash obvious scandals. You find yourself chanting "I don't care. I don't care. I DON'T CARE" in your brain while nodding.

This is the book
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Denise
Sep 18, 2013 Denise rated it liked it
3.5 stars - Another fascinating glimpse into life and times at Highclere Castle during the 1920s and 30s. Highlights include the military campaigns of WW II and some details about the castle owners and occupants with their personal tragedies and triumphs.

The author uses primary research material from Highclere Castle archives to tell the story of Lady Catherine (Wendell), an American woman who marries "Porchy" the 6th Earl of Carnarvon.

Definitely a book that fans of the PBS drama "Downton Abbey
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Amy
Mar 16, 2014 Amy rated it liked it
Starting this book I had to laugh several times since these stinking filthy rich aristocrats did nothing with their time other than chase one another around the world. It's such a strange world to step into. Lord Porchester ("Porchey") was the most amusing. He was so in love with being an aristocrat that he never really became a grown up. I read this book while also reading Servants, by Lucy Lethbridge, and found the contrast between the two sets of people living in these grand country houses ...more
Joanne
Jun 09, 2014 Joanne rated it really liked it
Meet the real family who reside in Highclere Castle, the fabulous home featured in Downton Abbey. The Castle has been in the Carnarvon family since 1679, and was remodeled in 1839-42. The 5th Earl of Carnarvon was an Egyptologist who, with his partner, Howard Carter, discovered King Tut's tomb. Upon his death in 1923, Porchey (short for Lord Porchester), and his American wife Catherine become the 6th Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. This is their story! The book is written by Fiona, the 8th ...more
Jen (Feffer)
Mar 10, 2014 Jen (Feffer) rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf, netgalley-2014
I just...couldn't finish it. I'm a little disappointed, honestly--I was sure this one had so much potential, both as a book, and from a marketing standpoint. Hello? Who doesn't want to read more about Downton Abbey?? I do!

Obviously, I didn't expect the "real" Downton to be like the show (soapy and full of intrigue and death and sexytimes). And as much as I like to believe that everyone has a story worth telling, I've come to the conclusion that not everyone's story will fill a novel.

Eep.

The po
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Donna
Oct 03, 2013 Donna rated it really liked it
Having been a Downton Abbey fan myself, I could not pass by this book. It gives insight to what Highclere Castle was like during the 20s and 30s. This book gave the enjoyment of sinking into a great fiction book on a Sunday afternoon while being non-fiction itself. Not an easy task but this book did it for me! A must buy for any fan of the show or someone wanting a glimpse into a different way of life gone by.
Becky
Feb 19, 2016 Becky rated it it was ok
I listened to as much of this as I could bear. It's not bad, just slow and boring and pointless. No one in this book did anything remotely interesting or was of any real importance. If they hadn't been tied to the building that inspired Downtown Abbey, they wouldn't merit a second's thought. I'm not even going to feel bad about counting it as read after only slogging through 2/3 of it because it was work just to get that far.
Joanna
May 09, 2016 Joanna rated it liked it
Interesting story. Things don't always work out as neatly in real life as they do in fiction. And saying that "things work out neatly" in the fiction of Downton Abbey is a bit of a stretch. Enjoyed it, but not gripping.
Lisa B.
Jun 09, 2014 Lisa B. rated it liked it
I thought this book was an interesting glimpse into a class of people whose lifestyle I will never understand. I found the book enjoyable.

Thanks to Crown Publishing, via Netgalley for letting me read this in exchange for an unbiased review.
Vanessa
May 24, 2016 Vanessa rated it really liked it
A great read on the recent individuals who have lived at Highclere. A story of 2 halls, with the first being focuses on Catherine and her upbringing and marriages and the second about the family in the war.
If you like recent English history then this is a great read.
Hannah Scansaroli
Oct 03, 2013 Hannah Scansaroli rated it it was amazing
A wonderful and accurate of English history during the roaring 20s! A fabulous follow up to Lady Almina. Just an added bonus for all of us Downton Abbey lovers!
Rebecca
Dec 03, 2015 Rebecca rated it liked it
the story of Highclaire Castle between the wars and those who inhabited it.
Almina Carnarvon
Oct 26, 2013 Almina Carnarvon marked it as to-read
The basis of this elegantly written sketch on the life and times of Catherine Wendell, the Sixth Countess of Carnarvon - with a fleeting glance at the dancer Tilly Losch, the other Sixth Countess- is that it’s another Highclere spin off to cash-in on its television fame. Both women married Porchey- the Sixth Earl, who spent his life hunting, shooting and flirting.

The Earl was a rascal who rode race horses and was an over active sex pest to womankind. The Carnarvons display courage in declaring
...more
Donna
Nov 02, 2016 Donna rated it did not like it
Oy, no idea why so many people write biographies and memoirs when they really haven't done anything worth talking about. Apparently "Porchey" wrote two memoirs...TWO! Cocktail parties, pretty clothes, affairs, shooting things... the TV show is much more interesting than the truth.
Julie
Oct 22, 2016 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book about the real people who lived in Highclere Castle, the place Downton Abbey is based on.
Eliza Docca
Oct 24, 2016 Eliza Docca rated it really liked it
This was a very interesting read. I love history and I think it's great that the countess is telling the stories of these people and this beautiful house.
Jmolentin
A bit too heavy on WWII otherwise interesting.
Ashley
Oct 14, 2013 Ashley rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history, arc, non-fiction, 2013
“Lady Catherine, The Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey” is touted as the companion piece to its predecessor, “Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey”. However, this book is strong enough to stand on its own. It tells the true tale of Catherine Wendell, the young American girl who marries the 6th Earl of Carnarvon, becoming the Countess of Carnarvon and mistress of Highclere Castle.

I received an ARC of this book and I was very excited to read it. Highclere Castle is the setting of the ITV (UK) and
...more
Pablo
Oct 07, 2016 Pablo rated it really liked it
Great little distraction of a book. She was smart to wrap up the story after WWII.
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Note: This is the Goodreads listing for the 8th Countess of Carnarvon.

A former auditor for Coopers & Lybrand, Lady Fiona Carnarvon is the wife of George Herbert, 8th Earl of Carnarvon. Today, she manages affairs at Highclere Castle, home of the worldwide television drama Downton Abbey, including overseeing its grounds and gardens and many special events such as the Egyptian Exhibition in the c
...more
More about Fiona Carnarvon...

Other Books in the Series

The Women of the Real Downton Abbey (2 books)
  • Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle

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