What I’m Reading: Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey

My online library had a category in their search that said, “If you liked Downton Abbey you might like these”.  Well I looked through the selections and came upon Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle.  Well I did like Downton Abbey..I liked it a lot so I thought I would try the book.

It was later in the evening when I started listening and I finally had to force myself to stop listening.  Let me explain…There were entirely too many names to keep track of.  I couldn’t.  I don’t know if I was tired or if my brain just couldn’t go there at the time.

In the morning I back tracked a bit, I turned the speed to slow and started listening again.  Even then, there were so many name and things to keep track of…too many.  I am also not very familiar with the hierarchy of countess’ and duchess’ so that made it a little hard for me to follow too.

I did however find the book very interesting.  Lady Almina was someone in history to truly be admired.  She saw problems and arose to find solutions.  I found the book especially interesting in context to Downton Abbey.  Many of the same things that happened at Highclere Castle happened at Downton Abbey.  There was someone who loved automobiles and had a crash.  There was that in real life too.  The Abbey became a hospital and it did in real life too.

Here’s what Amazon had to say, “Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey tells the story behind Highclere Castle, the real-life inspiration and setting for Julian Fellowes’s Emmy Award-winning PBS show Downton Abbey, and the life of one of its most famous inhabitants, Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon. Drawing on a rich store of materials from the archives of Highclere Castle, including diaries, letters, and photographs, the current Lady Carnarvon has written a transporting story of this fabled home on the brink of war.
    Much like her Masterpiece Classic counterpart, Lady Cora Crawley, Lady Almina was the daughter of a wealthy industrialist, Alfred de Rothschild, who married his daughter off at a young age, her dowry serving as the crucial link in the effort to preserve the Earl of Carnarvon’s ancestral home.  Throwing open the doors of Highclere Castle to tend to the wounded of World War I, Lady Almina distinguished herself as a brave and remarkable woman.
    This rich tale contrasts the splendor of Edwardian life in a great house against the backdrop of the First World War and offers an inspiring and revealing picture of the woman at the center of the history of Highclere Castle.”

Amazon readers gave the 4.4 stars.  I think I’d go with 4.2 stars.  Very interesting but for me, too many names…too many things to keep track of.  I like listening to a book as background while I do other things.  I don’t like listening so that I have to concentrate.  This really made me feel like I had to concentrate to keep everything straight.  There is another book in the series.  I think that in time I’ll likely check that one out too.  I’ll just make sure I plan my listening time appropriately so I have plenty of time to listen and not be distracted by whatever else I’m doing.

3 thoughts on “What I’m Reading: Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey”

  1. Some books just need to be read in print, so you can go back easily to refresh your memory. In the same way, some children’s books (my area of study) are great as read-alouds whereas other aren’t. Each book and storyteller has its own personality.

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