I read about 40 pages of this book and just couldn't get into it. The story seemed really intriguing, but it felt like the author was just recounting details from primary sources rather than weaving relevant facts into the larger narrative. Might have to give it another try sometime.
The truth of Lady Almina is much more interesting than fiction -- she was the illegitimate daughter of a Rothschild and she was the one who came up with the idea to convert the estate into a hospital for returning servicemen. Made me wish the character on Downton Abbey were half so interesting.
This is the fascinating story of the castle and family that inspired Downton Abbey during the same time period as the television story. The real story of the Carnarvons is just as delightful and full of drama as the fictional story, with many parallels. The book includes detailed history of World War I, when the house actually was used as a hospital, as well as the discovery of the tomb of King Tutankhamun, which was funded and overseen by the Earl of Carnarvon. I was surprised to discover that the castle is still functioning today much as it did then, and this history is written by the current Countess of Carnarvon.