NEW BOOK ON ALMINA CARNARVON OF TUTANKHAMUN
CHATALAINE OF HIGHCLERE CASTLE
More Secrets of Almina, Countess of Carnarvon
The Pocket Venus of Highclere Castle
With photographs & documents from the Leadbetter Collection
By William Cross
Almina Victoria Marie Alexandra Wombwell, 5th Countess of Carnarvon, famed as the ‘Pocket Venus ‘ of Highclere Castle, the widow of George Edward Stanhope Molyneux Herbert, the co-discoverer with Howard Carter of Tutankhamun’s tomb, is the subject of several books on her life and times straddling the 1870s -1960s.
However, some facts including more revelations of the Countess’ secret life remain undisclosed : there is the detailed evidence to finally reveal of the paternity of her son Henry ( Porchey), later 6th Earl . Aristocracy and royalty are riddled with a stigma of decay and in- breeding, the result of convenient liaisons and pragmatic arrangements , a fix to resolve the family’s succession where otherwise there are risks from close blood marriages, bad genes or diseases inflicted from sexual debauchery. Almina did what she had to do.
Despite an exemplary effort to save lives in the Great War through her well fashioned ‘ Lady Carnarvon’s Nursing Homes’ ( and later pampering to the rich and Royals in her famous private hospital in Portland Place, London ) Almina was a shrewd player, her activities funded by Baron Alfred de Rothschild’s legacies. But the Countess was predatory by nature , a social tyrant who always wanted ( and usually got) her own way. In addition to two marriages ( her second husband was a notorious cad, Lt Colonel Ian Dennistoun) she had several carnal affairs and was caught up in Society cover-ups and sex scandals.
In this new study Almina’s biographer William Cross appraises the Countess’ life and times using several hundred remarkable photographs and documents taken from the unique archive of her godson, Anthony ( Tony) Leadbetter. Almina lived the last forty-odd years of her life in a series of private residences with a close circle of dedicated staff. Tony’s aunt and mother were Almina’s housekeepers for over thirty years. Tony grew up with Almina as a central figure in his life, he inherited her personal memorabilia. This book completes the blistering legacy of Almina, the most wayward and charismatic of Highclere’s chatelaines.
ISBN 10 1-905914-30-X ISBN 13 978-1-905914-30-2
Published by William P. Cross
Book Midden Publishing
58 Sutton Road
THE NEW BOOK WILL BE PUBLISHED IN 2016
FOR FURTHER DETAILS PLEASE E-MAIL THE AUTHOR