Lady Catherine and the Real Downton Abbey

Author(s): The Countess of Carnarvon

Biographys & Memoirs

Sometimes the facts are even more extraordinary than the fiction...This book tells the story of Lady Catherine, a beautiful American girl who became the chatelaine of Highclere Castle, the setting for Julian Fellowes' award-winning drama Downton Abbey. Charming and charismatic, Catherine caught the eye of Lord Porchester (or 'Porchey', as he was known) when she was just 20 years old, and wearing a pale yellow dress at a ball. She had already turned down 14 proposals before she eventually married Porchey in 1922. But less than a year later Porchey's father died suddenly, and he became the 6th Earl of Carnarvon, inheriting a title and a Castle that changed both their lives forever. Catherine found herself suddenly in charge of a small army of household staff, and hosting lavish banquets and weekend house parties. Although the couple were very much in love, considerable challenges lay ahead for Catherine. They were immediately faced with the task of saving Highclere when debts threatened to destroy the estate. As the 1920s moved to a close, Catherine's adored brother died and she began to lose her husband to the distractions London had to offer. When the Second World War broke out, life at the Castle would never be the same again. Drawing on rich material from the private archives at Highclere, including beautiful period photographs, the current Countess of Carnarvon transports us back to the thrilling and alluring world of the 'real Downton Abbey' and its inhabitants.

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The follow-up to the international bestseller Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey, this book moves the story into the 1920s, and focuses on the remarkable American heiress who came to reign at Highclere Castle.

An excellent depiction of English aristocratic life...a compelling portrait of the era's lives, deaths, politics, scandals and the war's impact on Porchey and Catherine's family. Lady Carnarvon's narrative is a vivid time-stamp of a tempestuous period in history, aptly incorporating its political situation and social structure, to satisfy history buffs and Anglophiles. Publisher's Weekly

Lady Fiona Carnarvon married the current Earl of Carnarvon in 1999, and they took over Highclere nine years ago.

General Fields

  • : 9781444762129
  • : Hodder & Stoughton General Division
  • : Hodder Paperback
  • : September 2014
  • : 198mm X 129mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : October 2014
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : The Countess of Carnarvon
  • : Paperback
  • : 1014
  • : English
  • : 942.291
  • : 320
  • : 4 x black and white inset sections