Book wishes

There is a cottage industry of books about/inspired by/vaguely related to PBS’ hit British Edwardian soap opera Downton Abbey. A sampling includes: The World of Downton Abbey (St. Martin’s, 2011); The Real Life Downton Abbey: How Life was Really Lived in Stately Homes (John Blake, 2012); The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook (Adams Media, 2012). Amid so many reading options, the most appealing is the one that holds the best claim to the word “real.” Lady Almina and the Real Downton Abbey: The Lost Legacy of Highclere Castle (Broadway, 2011) is written by the Countess of Carnarvon, a.k.a. the actual heir to the actual castle where the TV series is filmed. In this book, Countess Carnarvon writes a biography of her ancestor Lady Almina, who was the inspiration for the character Lady Cora Crawley. We just hope that the contemporary Countess inherited writing chops along with her title.

Suggested Next Read

Last Chance to See a Genius

Art

Last Chance to See a Genius

By Danny Axelrod

The Imagine Exhibitions Space, in The Venetian, is bidding arrivaderci to Da Vinci—The Genius exhibit this weekend. Slated to end in September, the exhibit was held over by popular demand with good reason. The experience offers visitors a chance to get up close—and in some cases “hands-on”—with life-size constructions of invention ideas taken from his codices, or journals. Interactive stations take visitors further into the mind of the man. A section is devoted to the “Mona Lisa,” including 25 things about “La Gionconda” just recently uncovered.

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