It Was Good To Be Lady Almina of Highclere Castle: Good-bye Downton Abbey

Downton_Abbey_season_1“Downton Abbey,” I bid you adieu. Having been a loyal fan of the PBS series, it’s only natural to want to read the real life account of the people whose lives were portrayed in this wonderful presentation which takes place at Highclere Castle, England. Let me say this, if I could choose a person whose life to live, it would have been Lady Almina, the 5th Countess of Carnarvon, the illegitimate daughter of Alfred de Rothschild and Marie Wombwell, the wife of George Edward Stanhope Molyneux Herbert, the 5th Earl of Carnarvon.

Surrounded by love as a wife, mother, hostess, benefactor, nurse, hospital administrator, this forward-thinking woman established a hospital and nursing care for the wounded soldiers during WWI at her home at Highclere Castle, using a holistic approach to patient care, healing the minds and spirits, as well as the broken bodies of the patients whose lives she impacted.

Her life was filled with adventure with her world travels, and the discovery of the tomb of the Egyptian King Tut by her husband and his fellow archeological explorer, Howard Carter.

Generous to a fault, she positively influenced the lives of many, and lived a life filled with love and appreciation.

The characters in the series are set against the background of WWI during the Edwardian era in England. It’s a history lesson, a social commentary, a family account, an adventure, all rolled into a well-written, fascinating saga. How much is fact and how much is fiction? I don’t have the answer, but the lifestyle, behaviors, rules and demands portrayed upstairs in the family quarters and downstairs in the servant area, were meticulously researched and well-represented by Julian Fellowes, the creator of the series.

The people no longer live, but their characters live on. This moment in history is gone. We can still share their lives and concerns in DVD and Blu-Ray discs, books, documentaries, taped interviews. The impact travels through time and space, although the catalyst is no longer present.

If you would like to read an inspiring book on the subject, I recommend, “Lady Almina And The Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle” by Fiona Carnarvon, the present Countess of Carnarvon.

I wish you all a life inspired by the wonder of the world around us. May you find and live your truth, in harmony with people, nature and the environment. May you be a force for good and a source of love and comfort. May the world be a better place for you having lived and loved here.

This is my last blog post. Elaine Donadio Writes is on indefinite hiatus.

© 2016 All rights reserved

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