Julian Fellowes is perhaps best known as the creator of award-winning TV series, Downton Abbey which captured the nation’s hearts and went on to become a worldwide phenomenon. He is now turning his attention to the West End, having written School of Rock and Half a Sixpence, as well as Wind in the Willows, which is coming to the London Palladium in summer 2017.
Lord Fellowes has supported RNIB for more than ten years, hosting and supporting fundraising events for our much-loved Talking Books service and championing the need to make all books accessible for blind and partially sighted readers.
His contribution is now to be recognised with a role as a Vice President alongside other key supporters, including Sir Rod Stewart and Penny Lancaster.
It’s a real honour for me to be joining the illustrious ranks of RNIB’s Vice Presidents having supported the charity for many years. My first order of business in my new role is going to be working with RNIB to raise £1m to expand their library of audio books which act as a lifeline to the outside world for so many.
Lord Fellowes has been a great friend to RNIB over the past decade, making a tremendous contribution to our work.On behalf of RNIB, I’d like to offer my warmest congratulations to Lord Fellowes on his new role, and look forward to working together to make every day better for people affected by sight loss.
Sally Harvey, Interim Chief Executive of RNIB
On the evening of 15 June 1815, the great and the good of British Society have gathered in Brussels at what is to become one of the most tragic parties in history - the Duchess of Richmond's ball. For this is the eve of the Battle of Waterloo, and many of the handsome young men attending the ball will find themselves, the very next day, on the battlefield. For Sophia Trenchard, the young and beautiful daughter of Wellington's chief supplier, this night will change everything. But it is only twenty-five years later, when the upwardly mobile Trenchards move into the fashionable new area of Belgravia, that the true repercussions of that moment will be felt. For in this new world, where the aristocracy rubs shoulders with the emerging nouveau riche, there are those who would prefer the secrets of the past to remain buried.
Damian Baxter is hugely wealthy and dying. He lives alone in a big house in Surrey, looked after by a chauffeur, butler, cook and housemaid. He has but one concern - his fortune in excess of 500 million and who should inherit it on his death. Had he sired a child? A letter from a girlfriend suggests he did, but the letter is anonymous. Damian contacts someone he knew from their days at university - he gives him a list of girls he slept with and sets him a task to find his heir.
The story of Edith Lavery, the attractive only child of a comfortably-off accountant, who earns a living answering the telephone in a Chelsea estate agents. Attending Royal Ascot, she meets Charles Broughton, who, as Earl Broughton and heir to the Marquess of Uckfield, is a gossip-column favourite. He proposes, she accepts - but here is the crux of the story - is she really in love with Charles or with his title and all that goes with it? Contains sex scenes.
Written by Julian Fellowes’s niece, Jessica, this guide profiles the main actors, gives behind-the-scenes insights and also showcases the costumes and props of 'Downton Abbey'. The book also looks at the social history of the time, using fictional characters and plot to highlight life in the big house - both upstairs and down. The book contains a foreword by Lord Fellowes.