Julian Fellowes’s Belgravia is the story of a secret. A secret that unravels behind the porticoed doors of London’s grandest postcode.
Set in the 1840s, when the upper echelons of society began to rub shoulders with the emerging industrial nouveau riche, Belgravia is peopled by a rich cast of characters. But the story begins on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. At the Duchess of Richmond’s now legendary ball, one family’s life will change forever….
Rating: Narration – A+; Content – B+
I’m sure that most people will be familiar with the name of the writer of Gosford Park and the creator of the hugely successful Downton Abbey. In his latest novel, Julian Fellowes continues to explore England’s past and to look particularly at the class system and the way in which convention and reputation so dominated British society in the 19th century. As one would expect from an Oscar winning screenwriter, the story is beautifully written and developed; and as one would expect from Julian Fellowes, it’s full of acute social observation and comment delivered in a classically understated, English manner. The book’s gentle pacing may not suit all tastes, but when you throw in the hugely talented Juliet Stevenson into the mix as the narrator, that only allows the listener more time to listen to her beautiful voice and enjoy her truly outstanding performance.