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Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle
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Group Reading > January 2013- Lady Almina and the real Downton Abbey

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message 1: by Zoe (new) - rated it 4 stars

Zoe | 355 comments Mod
Well, no surprises folks, this was an early leader in the polls, and pulled ahead! I will definitely be reading this one. I am also a Downton fan- although only 3/4 of the way through season two, I'll be using the DVR to get up to date on season 3! So, do you watch, or were you just in the mood for non fiction?


message 2: by Shameaka (new)

Shameaka (devotedwife) I'm not at all familiar w/this book/series, but thought I'd give it try since I recently joined this group. I just placed a hold on the CDs at my library, and plan to listen while knitting.


message 3: by Bee (new)

Bee (bee69) | 4 comments I am also a Downnton Abbey. I have watched all series and thoroughly enjoyed it too. Will reserve at the library.


Stephanie (quiltsrme) Only the first season is available at Netflix and I watched it all. My Mom is hooked. I like it OK, but I sort of fell out of my love of historical english drama and prefer more contemporary mysteries.


Stephanie (quiltsrme) OK.. after what I said, I kindof have to take it back as I just started the Morland Dynasty by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles.


Rachel Murphy (facelikefizz) | 90 comments Mod
Of late I've been feeling like the only person in the world to have not watched Downton Abbey. So I've ordered the DVD box set of seasons 1-3 (plus the 2011 Christmas special) from Amazon!


message 7: by Amber (new)

Amber (busybooknerd) I hadn't heard of it until close to when season 3 was starting. It was mentioned on a podcast. I still don't know anything about it but am goig to find out now :)


message 8: by Zoe (new) - rated it 4 stars

Zoe | 355 comments Mod
Well, like Harry Potter, I too was late to jump on the Downton wagon, but now I'm hooked!
Stephanie, is the Morland Dynasty a television show or a series of books? I'm always looking for new stuff.

Also, a few other fun things on this vein.
jimmy Beans Wool is doing a Downton Abbeymystery KAL. Just go to Jimmybeanswool.com and read their blog. The colorway they are using is no longer available, but you can use any sport weight yarn.

Also, if you goth WETA.com or any PBS affiliate website and click on Downton abbey, you can take the "what Downton abbey character are you" quiz. Again, this is only really enjoyable if you've seen at least a few episodes.

I have started this book and am thrilled at how readable it is. Lady Almina did not have the, ehem, breeding background that I was expecting. Glad the book has a few pictures -she looked so self posessed and lovely, I can see why he married her!


Rachel Murphy (facelikefizz) | 90 comments Mod
Well, I've started watching my DVDs - half way through season one and me and my daughter are hooked! I won't start the book until later in the month though as I'm in the middle of a couple of others at the moment.


Stephanie (quiltsrme) Morland Dynasty is a series of books by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles. I think it's over 30 books now.


Alexa Carver (alexacarver) | 4 comments I picked up a copy of this book from my library this week and I can't wait to read it! and to watch the new episode tonight!!!


message 12: by Zoe (new) - rated it 4 stars

Zoe | 355 comments Mod
Ill have to check that out Stephanie.

I'm really enjoying this book, Almina has an interesting background, and as someone who has always been interested in Egyptology, I can't believe I didn't make the connection! Tis is nice, readable non-fiction, despite the occasional conjecture by the author.

Now taking nominations for February group reads, too! PM me or post them on the open Group Reads thread!


message 13: by Dawn (new) - added it

Dawn (crochettreasures) I am so behind in all my reading. I happen to have this book. Maybe I can catch up over the next few days


Stephanie (quiltsrme) I'm happy to report that I finished this book already! I found I couldn't put it down after awhile and abandoned all plans for this evening to finish!


message 15: by Zoe (new) - rated it 4 stars

Zoe | 355 comments Mod
Me too, Stephanie! I finished it last night. I thought this was really good non-fiction. Yes, there weren't a billion footnotes like some biographies, and yes, the author made some conjecture, but I thought she kept it very readable.

And what interesting People! I loved all the info on Egypt, the Earl's stepmother who pioneered speech therapy, World War I, even th realtionship to Evelyn Waugh....these people were at the thick of 20th century british history in the most fascinating way.

While these people were quite fascinating in their own right, I loved seeing a few similarities to Downton Abbey. I caught a few names in there I recognized too - Bates, Crawley. Very interesting, and I loved the pictures and wish there could have been even more. Must go grab my Tutankhamun books....


message 16: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer | 6 comments Keep your eyes peeled ladies. There have been several specials lately on Highclere Castle, where DA is filmed. HGTV has a show about castles that featured Highclere (don't know the name as a friend called and told me to change the channel because it was on in 10 minutes) and PBS had a special that aired before the premiere of Season 3. Both were really interesting.


Laura (suddenexpression) | 9 comments Glad to find the group reading this as well! I've started it as part of a RAL with the Subway Knits podcast. Only a few chapters in and listening to the audio book. I'm sad to know there are pictures I'm missing out on since I have the audio.


Rachel Murphy (facelikefizz) | 90 comments Mod
Finished. I'm working my way through my Downton Abbey DVDs (almost at the end of season two and loving it!) so I enjoyed reading about the history of the house and the staff. However, I just didn't take to Almina. The way she was so frivolous irritated me. It was admirable the way she helped so many soldiers in her hospital - but if she hadn't made it all so posh she could have treated at least twice the number for the same money.

And one more thing. What's with getting remarried only 8 months after her husband died?

Sorry for the outbursts. This book seems to have gotten me all worked up!


message 19: by Zoe (new) - rated it 4 stars

Zoe | 355 comments Mod
Rachel, I had a few issues with her too, particularly the way she just had to have a big project going. I mean, I'm all for being industrious and I find it admirable, but I just don't know how it feels, if you know what I mean. I mean for goodness sakes woman, read a book, get to know your son. Relax!

On the other hand, spending money was something her father was good at. He frankly spoiled her, fiscally, even early on, and it's impossible to fathom what maintaining a house like that costs, and the type of values the upperclass Brits have. (Even watching Downton Abbey, part of me says "hey, how come no one is reading?"


message 20: by Zoe (new) - rated it 4 stars

Zoe | 355 comments Mod
And I think husband number 2 was just another "project".


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