Dromeda's Reviews > Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey by Fiona Carnarvon
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Mar 03, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: bios-true-life
Read in March, 2012

Disclosure: Review copy received via Goodreads First Reads.

Even though "Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey" is written with an eye towards fans of the ITV/PBS series, I believe even those who haven't watched the show will enjoy this history of the inhabitants of Highclere Castle. However, those fans hoping for plot-point by plot-point parallels between the show and the real history may be disappointed. That being said, it's easy to see where Julian Fellowes may have drawn inspiration from these real lives and events.

A bit more "Upstairs" than "Down" (though we do get glimpses of life below stairs and of the people that kept Highclere going behind the scenes); I found the book incredibly interesting and very readable. There are four glossy sections of photographs which I very much appreciated (I love historic photos, drawings, letters, and the like so there are never enough of these in this type of book in my opinion). The sections on The Great War and the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb make me want to read more on the subjects. Even though the book ended where Almina's story did, I was ready for it to continue on to the next generation and beyond. A very good read, indeed. 4.5 Stars.
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