Update to previous post...
Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle
by The Countess of Carnarvon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Posted in June, 2012
I admit I have not watched the Downton Abbey TV series. I am not sure I will, but I am very glad I read this book. Reading it gave me a real sense of the history of England from the end of the Victorian Era until the end of World War I. The aristocracy and its strict rules of personal conduct began to unravel during this period. (As was pointed out in the book, it really didn't become as we know it today until the end of World War II.)
The book was written by the present Countess of Carnarvon who had available to her a lot of the family documents. I felt a real sense of connection to the Carnarvon's and their social circle. Of special interest was the fact that Lord Carnarvon along with Howard Clark was responsible for finding the unopened tomb of Tutankhamen. In fact, without his and his wife's financial support was crucial in the success of the venture. I was especially interested because I did see the King Tut Exhibit when it came to Memphis, Tennessee, in the 1980's.
More importantly...the horrors of World War I were all too real. Almost a whole generation of British men were lost in the war. After the end of the war more that 50 million people worldwide died from the Spanish Influenza, more people than had died in the war.
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