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Publisher's Summary

Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey, a transporting companion piece to the New York Times best seller Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey, tells the story of Catherine Wendell, the beautiful and spirited American woman who married Lady Almina's son, the man who would become the 6th Earl of Carnarvon.

The couple presided over Highclere Castle, the grand estate that serves as the setting for the hit PBS show Downton Abbey. 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.

©1988 Fiona Carnarvon (P)2013 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“Gossipy and fun, with a good history lesson—sure to delight Downton Abbey fans.” — Kirkus Reviews
"A dynamic performance by Wanda McCaddon brings the real Downton Abbey, Highclere Castle, to life in this marvelous audiobook. Whether she's describing catastrophic events or everyday occurrences in the lives of the Carnarvons, McCaddon delivers. She captures the essence of Lady Catherine and her family and friends and infuses each of them--and there are many-- with individuality as they unfold in her accomplished presentation. Listeners hear Winston Churchill's booming voice and Lady Catherine's subtly nuanced expressions as if they're privy to their real-life conversations." (AudioFile)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abb

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Yes

What could The Countess of Carnarvon have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

I wish the book would have focused more on both the Earl's and Lady Catherine childhoods and contained more happy stories about their children growing up and the good times in Lady Catherine's marriage to the Earl.

Which scene was your favorite?

When Lady Catherine and the Earl arrived at the Abbey after their wedding.

Could you see Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

If the show also contained Almina's story.

Any additional comments?

I hate to say this but the first book that The Countess wrote about Lady Almina was an excellent page turner. and unfortunately this book was a letdown.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Kathy N
  • Long Beach, CA United States
  • 03-31-16

Pleasant Historical Bio

Like its predecessor book about the wife of the 5th earl of Carnargon, this is an enjoyable and accessible telling of the adult lives of the 6th earl, with a focus on his first wife, and to a lesser extent of the history of Highclere Castle during the 6th earl's lifetime. A surprising but informative bonus is the detail about life in England during World War II. Well done.

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More Fascinating Tales From Highclere

If you could sum up Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey in three words, what would they be?

History, family, society

What was one of the most memorable moments of Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey?

Spoiler alert!<br/><br/><br/>Porchie's affairs, the scandal with Almina' second husband/his ex-wife.

Which scene was your favorite?

Spoiler alert!<br/><br/><br/>Catherine's second marriage.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

While I did enjoy this book, I found it just a tiny bit less compelling than Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A WHO'S WHO OF OLD ENGLISH SOCIETY

What did you love best about Lady Catherine, the Earl, and the Real Downton Abbey?

The story was a snapshot of society at the time.

What did you like best about this story?

Listening to the little vignettes of English society.

Have you listened to any of Wanda McCaddon’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

There isn't enough substance to the story to make a movie.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful