Monday, February 25, 2013
Coming Fashionably Late to the Party and a Book Review
Just recently, I've become a Downton Abbey lover. Better late than never. I managed to watch seasons 1 and 2 via Netflix and PBS.com before season 3 aired, plus I managed to turn my sister into a downright Downton addict. She admits to watching all 3 seasons now more than twice! Now I'm all caught up and going through withdrawals.
I gave up my iPad addiction for Lent and have replaced my web browsing and game playing during naptime with good old fashioned reading--and that without the instant gratification of my Kindle Reader! I picked up Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey to give me that Downton fix. I loved every word.
The book is written by the current Lady Carnarvon of Highclere Castle, which is the castle Downton is based upon. She is a very entertaining writer and managed nicely to combine the history of the castle, it's inhabitants, and the times with fashion and drama. Lady Almina married the 5th Earl of Carnarvon in 1895 and the book follows her life as Countess at Highclere. Almina was a truly fascinating character. Born the illegitimate daughter of Sir Alfred de Rothschild, he settled a very large amount of money on her prior to her marriage to Lord Carnarvon that solidified the solvency of Highclere and the title for generations to come. She was fashionable and socially impeccable, but also very active politically and later as a nurse in the hospitals she opened during World War I first in Highclere Castle and later in Bryanston Square in London. Her husband became famous in his own right when he and Howard Carter made the most magnificent discovery of ancient Egyptian artifacts in King Tutankamen's tomb in 1922.
Although the author claims the book is neither a history nor a novel, it reads as both. An extremely fascinating and easy read, ideal for any Downton-ophile.