SNOBS sold 50,000 in hardback and 150,000 in paperback; and rights in a dozen countries including the US Julian Fellowes has written a succession of successful screenplays, most recently the Academy Award winning GOSFORD PARK, and THE YOUNG VICTORIA, due for release in 2008 He also wrote the 'book' for the musical of MARY POPPINS, which has been produced in a dozen countries
Julian Fellowes, actor, writer, director, producer and TV presenter, was educated at Ampleforth, Cambridge and Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. As an actor he is probably best known for his portrayal of the incorrigible Lord Kilwillie in the BBC's Monarch of the Glen, as well as film roles in Shadowlands with Anthony Hopkins, Damage with Jeremy Irons and Tomorrow Never Dies with Pierce Brosnan. As a writer for TV, he is responsible for the Emmy winning Little Lord Fauntleroy and the BAFTA nominated The Prince and the Pauper, which he also produced. His first screenplay for the cinema was Gosford Park, directed by Robert Altman, which won a plethora of prizes, not least the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. He also wrote the screenplay for the recent version of Vanity Fair, starring Reese Witherspoon and The Young Victoria, currently in post-production. His debut as a director, Separate Lies, was released to acclaim in 2006. As well as his novel SNOBS, he has written a children's book and the book for the musical of Mary Poppins for Disney. Julian is married to Emma, nee Kitchener and they have one son, Peregrine.
In his second novel (after Snobs), Oscar-winning screenwriter Fellowes (e.g., Gosford Park) examines the lives of the debutantes and young aristocrats of 1960s England 40 years on. Damian Baxter is a self-made millionaire dying of cancer who for nearly 20 years has had in his possession an anonymous letter indicating that he fathered a child in the early 1970s, right around the time that his group of friends and lovers were breaking up and moving on, often to more unsatisfying lives. Wishing to leave his entire fortune to this child, Baxter asks his one-time friend, the novel's narrator, to visit each of the women who might have written the letter. The narrator's visits and flashbacks to their glory days make up the bulk of the novel. Verdict While the American woman is a sad caricature, the rest of Fellowes's players more than hold one's attention and sympathy. An interesting reflection on how to cope (or in some cases, how not to cope) with the end of one's era. Recommended. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/09.]-Julie Elliott, Indiana Univ. Lib., South Bend Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.