Monday, May 7, 2012

Lady Almina And The Real Downton Abbey : The Lost Legacy Of Highclere Castle
by The Countess of Carnarvon

At the age of nineteen, Almina Wombwell married George Herbert, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon in 1895. The marriage took place on the Earl's twenty-ninth birthday. He had grand estates, magnificent paintings and beautiful furniture. The Earl was born into aristocracy. Almina, on the other hand, was from quite a different background. Her mother was French and her father was Alfred de Rothschild. Almina was illegitimate but her father's wealth protected her and it bought social acceptance and respectability.
After their honeymoon, they moved to Highclere Castle which was the family home of the Earls of Carnarvon.
Having never seen the PBS show, Downton Abbey that people have raved about, I was curious about this book. Parts of it are quite interesting and most of it is not. You don't get a sense of what Almina was really like. Her character was not quite fleshed out. Most of the book centers on World War I.
There's way too much filler and not enough substance.
I did read the entire book but it did nothing for me.