Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle by Fiona Carnarvon, narrated by, Wanda McCaddon

As a huge fan of Downton Abbey I had to read this book. It wasn’t as interesting as I had hoped until towards the end when we find out that Lord Carnarvon was partners with Howard Carter when he found the tomb of King Tut. The whole story about Egypt was fascinating and how Lord Carnarvon was one of the first to succumb to the “curse” even though the author doesn’t talk about that aspect I’ve read and researched enough about Egyptology that to me that was fascinating. I would read more about this time period in the Carnarvon’s life. It made me do some research and I found photo’s of the two of them together in Egypt and finding the tomb so that was fun!

As for Lady Almina I admit to being very surprised when she married so soon after the lord died as before that she was so devoted to him and she didn’t wait the acceptable mourning period of the time but the author decided to kind of skim over these facts and didn’t really give us a reason for marrying this sickly man so soon after her beloved husband died. And I would have like to know any social repercussions she suffered because she didn’t wait till the mourning period was over. I did enjoy the parts about her turning Highclere into a hospital which because of Downton I could picture well.

Because I am such a huge fan of the TV show there were times when names would come up like Bates, or Crawley , it would throw me a little bit because they weren’t my beloved characters from the show. There was also the time when the Lord got a car and he was speedy around in it and crashed and I thought oh no he’s going to die but he didn’t at that time but all I could think of was Matthew on the TV show!

Wanda McCaddon did a wonderful job at the narration she brought a slight haughtiness that I felt was needed in this setting. I would definitely listen to this narrator again.

I would recommend this to fans of the show because this kind of gives the outline that Julian Fellows may have built Downton on. Just don’t expect the TV show version of things.

3 ½ Stars

I received this from Edelweiss and the publisher Tantor Audio for a fair and honest review.

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