I am excited about the interview I get to share with you all today! Fans of the popular BBC drama Downton Abbey get ready! Today’s 5 Minute High 5 is with Author of Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey and its sequel Lady Catherine, The Earl, and The Real Downton Abbey! That’s right! Today’s interview is with Lady Fiona Carnarvon of Highclere Castle!
1. You have recently written 2 books about the history of Highclere Castle. What has it been like researching such a rich history?
It’s a tremendous privilege working through all the different archives here at Highclere. There are an enormous number of stories about what my predecessors have done and I really enjoy tying it in with the events that they were living through.
2. Did you always intend to publish the history of Highclere Castle or was the project inspired by the television series Downton Abbey?
I had already researched the 5th Earl of Carnarvon (who discovered the Tomb of Tutankhamun with Howard Carter) and had published a photographic story about the two men. I therefore knew the story of his extraordinary wife Almina and it was a wonderful opportunity to publish it.
3. Your two books follow the lives of Lady Almina and Lady Catherine as a means of telling the Castle’s story. How do you decide which family member’s story to follow?
I started with the 5th countess, Lady Almina, because she made such an amazing contribution to other people’s lives. She worked tirelessly to save men’s lives although in the First World War they were often returning into battle yet again. I found the letters from the patients and their families very humbling.
4. Are there plans for a third book?
I have started a photographic book looking at the rhythm of a year here at Highclere, recipes, and anecdotes.
5. After all the research you have done, which figure from Highclere Castle’s past (that you have not met already) would you most like to have lunch with?
I find Egypt and the ancient culture and works of art completely fascinating so I would absolutely love to have lunch with the 5th Earl of Carnarvon.
You can find Lady Carnarvon’s books in bookstores and online! I’ve included the links to purchasing Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey and Lady Catherine, The Earl, and The Real Downton Abbey below!
Buy Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey *Here*
Buy Lady Catherine, The Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey and *Here*
Read See Lizzie Read’s review of *Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey*
**A special thank you to Lady Carnarvon and Mrs. Julie Robins for working with me to bring this interview to the See Lizzie Read readership!
Until Next Time,