Carol'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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's review
Jul 23, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: biography
Read in July, 2012

For something with so many primary sources, this is very readable. I don't read many biographies, but this one was very interesting. _Downton Abbey_ was filmed at Lady Almina's castle, and I could see where the TV series got inspiration for several of their story lines. I suppose that was intentional instead of coincidental. The stories are not the same, of course, but reminiscent of each other.

Lady Almina, Countess of Carnarvon, was the illegitimate daugher of a Rothschild. She suffered none of the deprivations that usually came with illegitimacy in those days. For such a pampered pet, she was very intelligent, driven, and generous with her time and money. She wanted challenges and to do good in the world. Therefore, she started hospitals, among other things. In WWI, she turned her castle into a hospital, and later a home in London. I think this is why I like her so much. She was caring and generous and very interested in helping others.

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