The story of the real country estate–Highclere– and the people on whom the PBS series “Downton Abbey” is based is interesting. On one hand there is a lot of “only the names have been changed” element. Lady Almina wasn’t an American, but rather the out-of-wedlock daughter of Alfred Rothchild, fabulously wealthy, married for her money but also for love by the Earl of Carnarvon. The Earl is the man who discovered the tomb of Tutankamen and Lady Almina really did turn her home into a hospital during WWI, both significant contributions. The modernization of the castle, installing plumbing and electricity, was thanks to Lady Almina’s ability to manage the house and the Rothchild money. The downstairs people were treated pretty well, incredible sums of money were spent on entertaining and so on. None of the people come of as very likeable despite certain humanitarian efforts on their part. They are too self-centered & pampered to like.