Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey

October 7, 2019 - Comment

Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey tells the story behind Highclere Castle, the setting for Julian Fellowes’s Emmy Award-winning PBS show Downton Abbey, and the life of one of its most famous inhabitants, Catherine Wendell.  In this transporting companion piece to the New York Times bestseller Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey, Catherine, a beautiful and spirited American

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Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey tells the story behind Highclere Castle, the setting for Julian Fellowes’s Emmy Award-winning PBS show Downton Abbey, and the life of one of its most famous inhabitants, Catherine Wendell.  In this transporting companion piece to the New York Times bestseller Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey, Catherine, a beautiful and spirited American woman who married Lady Almina’s son, the man who would become the 6th Earl of Carnarvon, presides over the grand estate during a tumultuous time for the British aristocracy. Following the First World War, many of the great houses of England faded as their owners fortunes declined in the new political and social world of the 1920s and 1930s. As war loomed, Highclere’s survival as the family home of the Carnarvons was again in the balance—as was peace between the nations of Europe.

Using copious materials—including diaries and scrapbooks—from the castle’s archives, the current Countess of Carnarvon brings alive a very modern story in a beautiful and fabled setting, paying particular attention to the staff who provide Highclere Castle with continuity between generations.

Photos from Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey

HC1 Catherine was a renowned beauty.

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All photo credits are Copyright Highclere Castle Archive 2013

HC2 Catherine with her children.

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HC3 Mrs Geoffrey Grenfell (Catherine), Porchey, their son Henry and Almina, Countess of Carnarvon at Penelope’s wedding April 21st 1945.

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Comments

Anonymous says:

So Interesting! I really enjoyed this book and read through it fairly quickly! This book differs slightly from the one about Lady Almina, which I also really loved. It is maybe not quite as engrossing as the first book, but still fascinating to read about these people who lived a lifestyle I can’t even imagine. Very well researched, written and edited. I really enjoyed the photos and referred back to them many times. I would have loved even more photos. It really is a shame that Catherine and Porchy couldn’t…

Anonymous says:

Why did I wait so long to read this? I love this book, but then I’ve been a Downton Abbey addict since it came out. Actually, I downloaded the free sample just to see what it was about, but hadn’t gotten around to reading it. When I finally did, I wished I hadn’t waited so long! For one thing, it said in the description that there was a genealogy chart at the beginning of the book that showed Catherine’s relationship to the Lees of Virginia. As I’m our family genealogist, I went to full alert on that one! We’re also related to…

Anonymous says:

I enjoyed this book very much I enjoyed this book very much. If you are a fan of Downton Abby, then you will enjoy reading the real story. As a “commoner,” it is very interesting to see how the other half lived. The age of expansive living is gone, but it is still fascinating. If I had to pick at something, it would be the history stops at about WW2, and rapidly jumps from there to present day in about 200 words. (Yes, I’m exaggerating.) I did know a present day butler once in my life (about 40 years ago), and…

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