Saturday, December 01, 2012

Factoid of the day

Downton Abby is inspired by the family of Lord Carnarvan, the guy who funded the Tut excavation.

Officially, Almina was the daughter of Marie and Fred Wombwell. Unofficially, she was the beloved bantling of French Marie and her fabulously rich lover, Alfred de Rothschild. Keen to cement a social position that was still slightly tricky for a Jewish banker, Rothschild announced that his fortune would be bestowed upon Almina. Enter Lord Carnarvon, proprietor (despite a vexing lack of ready cash) of four estates, at least 6,000 acres, and Highclere Castle, the grandly Victorian monster-mansion best known today as Downton Abbey, home of the Granthams.
Highclere, at the time that the tiny Almina (nicknamed "the pocket Venus") became its mistress in 1895, was beginning to topple under the enormous weight of its upkeep.

ah, but there is also an R rated version of the family:
To some, Lord Fellowes’s first series appeared a little far-fetched. But an explosive new biography of Highclere’s chatelaine of the time makes it look tame by comparison....
Lady Almina liked spending money and liked boy toys, but found her match in the ex wife of her second hubby...

headsup UncleOrson

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