Truth is more entertaining than fiction. I have been reading about Lady Almina, who was the Countess of Highclere where Downton is filmed. I tis called "Lady Armina and the Real Downton Abbey" It is written by the current Lady Carnarvon. I also am reading a book about the American heiresses who rescued many of these manors with the money of their wealthy American fathers. The manors are now museums or hotels since the agrarian economy could no longer support them, just as the agrarian South could not defeat the North.