Friday, January 15, 2016

This Week on Highclere Castle

Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey by The Countess of Carnarvon
: October 29, 2013 by Broadway Books
Series: The Women of the Real Downton Abbey #2
With the new, and sadly, final season of Downton Abbey starting up, it seemed like the perfect time to read one of The Countess of Carnavon's books. This book is a biography of sorts, about the real family that lived in Highclere Castle, which is where Downton Abbey is filmed, from the 1920s till after WWII.

Going into the book I was expecting to read more of a biography of Lady Catherine, but that's not quite what we have here. Although if I had read title better I wouldn't have been as surprised, since while the book is about Lady Catherine its also about her husband the Earl of Carnavon. But even more than that its about random happenings at Highclere itself.

There is a lot going on in this and I think the book hard a good job of balancing how much information to share. There's a lot about various aspects of WWII that may not have been necessarily, but helped me get a barring on what was going on. But on the other hand there's a lot of name dropping where I was sure why the person was so important. (Although I definitely did notice references to the family of Julie Montagu from Ladies of London!)

It's interesting reading reviews of this book, but I'm not sure people realized what they were getting into. This most definitely isn't historical fiction. Not is it really even a traditional biography. There really are a lot of facts and information that's thrown out you, but even so, I found it fascinating.

Technically this is a sequel to Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey, although not having read the first I didn't feel lost. Again based on the way this one is written, I'd imagine the first is similar, but tells the story of Highclere before and during WWI. Knowing how much I enjoyed reading this one I can't wait to pick up the first as well.