Longstanding friend of the Carnarvon family, Julian Fellowes had Highclere Castle in mind as he wrote Downton Abbey. He often commented he wanted a house which spectacularly testified to the confidence and soaring optimism of the Edwardian period. From that point in time, he could then develop the characters though the First World War and into the changes of the 1920’s.
Whilst the series is like any novel, a fiction, it draws upon ideas from history. The real Earl and Countess (of Carnarvon) lived at Highclere throughout that period, exploring how to keep it going, giving great parties, and dealing with the “downstairs” staff, with loyal and often colourful characters.
Passionate about the history and knowledge of our past, Lady Carnarvon has written a book which engages you with these key decades, leading to the Second World war, but from Highclere’s point of view. If you have bought it (Lady Catherine and the Real Downton Abbey from bookshops or Amazon.com) and read it, then you will know the following:
We propose that the prize is taken over Valentine’s weekend 2016 (or another mutually agreed weekend if the lucky person prefers). All correct answers will go into a large top hat and a glorious glamorous person will shut their eyes and pull a name out on May 7th 2015 (Frankie, the horse’s birthday).
E-mail the answers to Julia, email@example.com
The success of Downton Abbey took everyone by surprise from the first nervous apprehension whether anyone would like the first episode or stay with it for the second or third… the series has become a phenomenon with appreciative viewers all around the world.
Find out more about the real Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle.