Book Review: Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: the Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle by Fiona Carnarvon (four stars)
The sense of custodianship that came with the inheritance meant that – to a large extent – the Castle owned the family, rather than the other way around.
The life and times of fifth Countess of Carnarvon written by the eighth. The setting is known to many as Downton Abbey.
‘Darling, it was only last month I gave you £25,000, what on earth have you done with it? I know it’s all in a good cause, but please do be careful.’
The first third of the twentieth century might as well be fantasy to most English and fantasy to the rest of us. Lady Almina was the illegitimate, but fabulously wealthy daughter of a Rothchild. Her elevation to Countess of Carnarvon makes great reading.
She realised that post-operative and trauma care were as much a part of the healing process as the best surgical techniques and the latest equipment.
Lady Carnarvon combines insider access and point of view with an auditor’s attention to detail. Her writing to clear and relatable. Don’t expect an expose. If anything this volume apologizes for Lady Almina extravagant lifestyle by highlighting her public contributions, especially in nursing countless Great War wounded.
The modern world, with its dismantling of privilege for some and extension of freedom for others, had overtaken everyone.