Synopses & Reviews
Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey
tells the story behind Highclere Castle, the real-life inspiration and setting for Julian Fellowes's Emmy Award-winning PBS show, and the life of one of its most famous inhabitants: Lady Almina, the fifth Countess of Carnarvon. Drawing on a rich store of materials from the archives of Highclere Castle, including diaries, letters, and photographs, the current Lady Carnarvon has written a transporting story of this fabled home on the brink of war.
Much like her Masterpiece Classic counterpart Lady Cora Crawley, Lady Almina was the daughter of a wealthy industrialist, Alfred de Rothschild, who married his daughter off at a young age, her dowry serving as the crucial link in the effort to preserve the Earl of Carnarvon's ancestral home. Throwing open the doors of Highclere Castle to tend to the wounded of World War I, Lady Almina distinguished herself as a brave and remarkable woman.
This rich tale contrasts the splendor of Edwardian life in a great house against the backdrop of the First World War and offers an inspiring and revealing picture of the woman at the center of the history of Highclere Castle.
"Gives the juicy back story behind last year's Emmy-winning Masterpiece Theater drama." ---The New York Times
"Wanda McCaddon invites listeners into the Countess of Carnarvon's breezy book, which blends a wealth of archival letters, diaries, and photographs." ---AudioFile
From the Countess of Carnarvon comes the story behind Highclere Castle, the real-life inspiration and setting for the PBS series Downton Abbey
, and the life of one of its most famous inhabitants: Lady Almina, the fifth Countess of Carnarvon.
About the Author
Lady Fiona Carnarvon studied English and German at the University of St. Andrews before becoming an accountant. She met her husband, Geordie, in 1996 and, in 2001, they took over the tenureship of Highclere Castle, Berkshire, becoming the eighth Earl and Countess of Carnarvon. The Countess of Carnarvon is also the author of Carnarvon and Carter: The Story of the Two Englishmen Who Discovered the Tomb of Tutankhamun. Wanda McCaddon began recording books for the fledgling audiobook industry in the early 1980s and has since narrated well over six hundred titles for major audio publishers, as well as abridging, narrating, and coproducing classic titles for her own company, Big Ben. Audiobook listeners may be familiar with her voice under one of her two "nom de mikes," Donada Peters and Nadia May. The recipient of an Audie Award and more than twenty-five Earphones Awards, AudioFile magazine has named her one of recording's Golden Voices. Wanda also appears regularly on the professional stage in the San Francisco Bay Area.