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Fiona Carnarvon

Författare till Lady Almina och verklighetens Downton Abbey

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Om författaren

Fiona Carnarvon, the 8th Countess of Carnarvon married Geordie, the 8th Earl of Carnarvon in 1999, and they acceded to Highclere ten years ago upon the death of Geordie's father. Highclere has become one of the most famous houses in England as the location for the PBS series Downton Abbey. She has visa mer written two brochures, one detailing the house's history and one about the Egyptian Exhibit in the basement. Her books include Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey and Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey. (Bowker Author Biography) visa färre


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Lady Fiona Carnarvon se convirtió en señora de Highclere Castle –escenario de la exitosa serie Downton Abbey– hace ocho años. En este periodo ha llegado a sentir fascinación por la interesante historia de Highclere y por las extraordinarias personas que han residido allí a lo largo de los siglos.
Pero una persona en particular captó el interés de Fiona: lady Almina, la quinta condesa de Carnarvon.
Almina fue la hija ilegítima del magnate de la banca Alfred de Rothschild. Fue su única hija y objeto de devoción por su parte. A los diecinueve años, con una inmensa dote, se casó con el quinto conde de Carnarvon.
Al principio, la vida en Highclere transcurrió en una vertiginosa sucesión de suntuosos banquetes para quinientas personas e incluso algún que otro invitado real.
Almina supervisó a ochenta empleados, muchos de los cuales procedían de familias que llevaban generaciones trabajando en Highclere.
Pero el estallido de la Primera Guerra Mundial cambió para siempre la vida en Highclere, tanto arriba como abajo.
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Natt90 | 68 andra recensioner | Mar 23, 2023 |
So many people have found the Downton Abbey drama on PBS a fascinating series and I am one of them. Along with the interesting characters, the castle itself is almost a character. Built on a massive scale, Highclere Castle is a masterpiece of elegance. Its hundreds of windows and tall corner turrets scream an overwhelming message of power. So, it was with great joy that I jumped into this volume with eagerness to find out about the backstory and history of this amazing castle.

I was not disappointed. My first surprise was that Almina, who was soon to become Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon, was only 19 years old when she married. As in the Downton Abbey story, the major reason for this marriage was the wealth that Almina could bring to the castle. (Lady Cora Crowley is an American who brings a large dowry to her marriage on the television show.) The fact that Almina was the illegitimate daughter of an extremely wealthy man didn’t seem to faze the aristocracy of the era. I found the details of how she took over the running of the household, even accomplishing a complete redecoration for the purpose of entertaining the Prince of Wales within a few months of her marriage, to be mind boggling.

The story of how she turned the castle into a hospital during World War I was riveting. The care that was taken of these damaged young men, even so far as to hire pretty nurses and outfit them in smart-looking uniforms so that the men could be surrounded by beautiful sights, was a story I had never heard before.

I would recommend this book to anyone interested in English history, strong women, and the life of glamorous society at the turn of the century.

I received this book in a Goodreads Giveaway.
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DebCushman | 68 andra recensioner | Aug 25, 2022 |
This was a beautiful book! I’m a fan of Downton Abbey and always wondered about the history behind it plus I love Christmas so this book combines the two in the best way possible. Also includes some lovely festive recipes.
thewestwing | Aug 12, 2022 |
Quite interesting, especially in the light of having just read [b:The Visitors|18362312|The Visitors|Sally Beauman||25963800] and spent a little time with the 5th Earl of Carnarvon, father of this one. Another contributing factor in my enjoyment was my passion for Downton Abbey. I was fascinated by how many of the plot twists in that story were ripped right from the true experiences of these people and their magnificent estate.

The book is historically accurate in every detail that I could personally verify. Lady Carnarvon had access to all the historical records and artifacts of the home and that must have helped tremendously in fleshing out these people and detailing life at Highclere. There are all the usual spottings of the rich and famous, coming and going at Highclere, particularly during World War II, but there is also enough beneath the surface revelation on Lady Catherine and the Earl to make them seem individual and not stereotypes.

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mattorsara | 24 andra recensioner | Aug 11, 2022 |


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