The Super Fun Kids' Graphic Novel Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    The Powell's Playlist | September 25, 2015

    Caitlin Doughty: IMG Caitlin Doughty's Playlist for Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

    The soundtrack perfectly suited to facing your own mortality. ("My Way," "Wind beneath My Wings," and other popular funeral songs need not apply.)... Continue »
    1. $11.17 Sale Trade Paper add to wish list

Qualifying orders ship free.
List price: $15.99
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Beaverton World History- England Historical Biography
4 Burnside Great Britain- Social and Economic History
14 Local Warehouse World History- England General

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle


Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle Cover

ISBN13: 9780770435622
ISBN10: 0770435629
Condition: Standard
All Product Details


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

1. Lady Almina’s wealth contributed to her social success, but far more was required to achieve prestige in her husband’s circles. What special traits and wisdom did she possess?

2. How does Downton Abbey’s Lady Cora Crawley compare to Almina? Is Cora at a disadvantage because she is American, or did outsiders perhaps have the upper hand in Edwardian England?

3. When Lady Almina opened Highclere Castle to wounded military officers, she wanted to deliver more than first-rate medical treatment; she understood that a beautiful environment would enhance the healing process as well. What can twenty-first-century medicine learn from her?

4. The author describes heated Edwardian debates over taxing the wealthy, reforms to the House of Lords, immigration, and the National Insurance Bill—issues that remain controversial today. Lady Almina was a vocal conservative. If you had been a member of the landed gentry, would you have sided with the Liberals or the Tories? How did Aubrey balance his election as a conservative with his liberal beliefs?

5. What inspired Lord Carnarvon and Aubrey to immerse themselves in worlds far removed from the English countryside? What was at the root of Lord Carnarvon’s enthusiasm for Egyptian antiquities? What surprising details did the book provide about foreign affairs in the early twentieth century?

6. Were you enticed or dismayed by the role of aristocratic women from Almina’s generation? How did they gain power? How was their power limited by their husbands and by social custom? If you were the widow Almina, would you have remarried as she did?

7. As the author provided vivid descriptions of the wardrobes, interior decorations, and feasts that marked Highclere Castle, which aspects captured your imagination the most? Was Almina’s lavish spending a good investment?

8. How did you react to the parenting protocols of the late Victorian and Edwardian eras? Was it reasonable for children of the aristocracy, whose lives were woven with royalty, to be held to a higher standard of behavior? How were the expectations for raising Porchy different from those for raising Eve?

9. Discuss the solid marriage that Almina and Lord Carnarvon enjoyed. How were they able to make a good match despite the strict courtship methods they had to follow? What accounts for the way they balanced freedom and mutual support throughout their marriage?

10. Is nobility a burden or a blessing? How would you have fared at Highclere as a servant, or as an administrative aide such as Mary Weekes?

11. How do the woes of Downton Abbey’s Earl of Grantham compare to those of Lord Carnarvon? How does the history of Highclere enhance your appreciation for the show? What might Almina and Lord Carnarvon think of Downton Abbey?

12. The author notes that it was the economic fallout of the Second World War, combined with new tax structures, that made it impossible to maintain the opulence of previous generations at Highclere Castle. Why is it important to preserve the building and its history, if not the lifestyle, in contemporary times?

13. Discuss your own family legacies that are tied to this time period. How did status and class affect your ancestors? Did any of them serve in the Great War? Which of your family legacies—financial or otherwise—were formed a century ago?

Guide written by Amy Clements

About the Author

LADY FIONA CARNARVON married the current Earl of Carnarvon in 1999, and they took over Highclere eight years ago.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Cheerbirdy, January 30, 2013 (view all comments by Cheerbirdy)
A delight to read. More than just a story of the history of Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey is filmed but a story of a remarkable family
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(2 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

Carnarvon, Fiona
Broadway Books
The Countess Of Carnarvon
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
8 x 5.2 x 1 in 0.7375 lb

Other books you might like

  1. Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3)
    Used Trade Paper $6.50
  2. Spymistress: The True Story of the... Used Trade Paper $10.50
  3. The Great Typo Hunt: Two Friends... Used Trade Paper $3.95
  4. The World of Downton Abbey
    Used Hardcover $10.95

Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Historical
Biography » Rich and Famous
Biography » Royalty
Featured Titles » Biography
Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » History and Social Science
Featured Titles » Literature
Featured Titles » New Arrivals
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » Featured Titles
History and Social Science » Europe » Great Britain » General History
History and Social Science » Europe » Great Britain » Social and Economic History
History and Social Science » Politics » Featured Titles
History and Social Science » World History » England » General
History and Social Science » World History » England » Historical Biographies
History and Social Science » World History » General

Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Broadway Books - English 9780770435622 Reviews:
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at