Lady Almina, the real Downton Abbey
The 8th Countess of Carnarvon, has written a book on her predecessor, Lady Almina, the 5th Countess who converted Highclere Castle into a Hospital in September 1914.
Please follow the links to Amazon in the UK or visit any good book retailer on your HIgh Street, or Random House if you are visiting our web site from the United States of America. In the USA, Lady Almina is also stocked in major retail stores like Target and Costco and available via all the links shown below.
If you would like to preview this fascinating book before purchasing, click here for an excerpt.
Lady Almina And The Real Downton Abbey - UK Edition
Please order your copy from: Amazon UK
Lady Almina And The Real Downton Abbey - US Edition
The book tells the extraordinary story of life before, during and after the Great War, from Almina's marriage to the 5th Earl of Carnarvon in 1895, through the Edwardian period to the years before the War.
Sometimes fact is even more extraordinary than fiction!
Just 19 when she married the 5th Earl, Almina was actually the illegitimate daughter of Alfred de Rothschild. She arrived with a stupendous dowry and the book moves on to uncover many fascinating stories on life, both upstairs and downstairs, at the Castle during Edwardian times. She attended the funeral of Queen Victoria, the coronation of Edward VII and all the other grand and royal events.
Life changed in August 1914 when the First World War broke out and Almina rolled up her sleeves, turned Highclere Castle into a hospital and began to admit patients coming back from the trenches. The stories of the men whose lives and limbs she saved are moving and fascinating and provide an excellent reading companion to the fictional portrayal of the convalescent home in Downton Abbey.
The war years are etched in history and eventually the fighting ceased. Many of the staff at Highclere had volunteered and not all came back. Lady Carnarvon returned the Castle back into a family home.
The end of the First World War signalled the return to Egypt for her husband the 5th Earl of Carnarvon. The book then takes up the story of this remarkable man, who with Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun in 1922.
“Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey” is beautifully illustrated by many previously unpublished early photographs, sketches and drawings, many of which were unearthed from the Archives of Highclere Castle, where they had lain undisturbed for almost a century. It is a unique book which could only have been created from inside the Castle.
Highclere Castle, is, of course, the film location for the very successful television drama, 'Downton Abbey', whose second series uncannily mirrors the real life events at Highclere over one hundred years ago.