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New Julian Fellowes Project, ‘Belgravia,’ Treads New Digital Ground

5 January 2016

From The New York Times:

There are few literary mediums that Julian Fellowes has not dabbled in.

Mr. Fellowes, the creator of the hit historical British melodrama “Downton Abbey,” has worked on screenplays, stage plays, novels and a children’s book. He wrote the book for “School of Rock,” a raucous new Broadway musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber adapted from the 2003 Richard Linklater movie, and he is working on his new NBC series “The Gilded Age,” set in New York in the late 19th century.

Now, for his next project, “Belgravia,” Mr. Fellowes is marrying an old narrative form — the serialized novel, in the tradition of Charles Dickens’s “The Pickwick Papers” — with the latest digital delivery system: an app.

“Belgravia” takes place in London in the 1840s and opens decades earlier during the Battle of Waterloo. It explores the class divisions between the established aristocracy and newly wealthy families who made their fortunes through the Industrial Revolution. But instead of having the sweeping narrative arc of a novel, it will unfold more like a new network TV series, in 10 weekly digital installments that will arrive automatically on readers’ phones, tablets or computers. The chapters cost $1.99 each, and $13.99 all together. The app will also incorporate an audio version, music, video, character portraits, family trees, images of period fashion and maps of Belgravia.

“To marry the traditions of the Victorian novel to modern technology, allowing the reader, or listener, an involvement with the characters and the background of the story and the world in which it takes place, that would not have been possible until now, and yet to preserve within that the strongest traditions of storytelling, seems to me a marvelous goal and a real adventure,” Mr. Fellowes said in a statement released through Grand Central Publishing, which will publish the novel in hardcover in July.

. . . .

 The first chapter of “Belgravia” will arrive in April, shortly after the last season of “Downton Abbey” concludes. The app will be available through a website and individual chapters can be purchased for download through major e-book retailers like Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble’s website.

Link to the rest at The New York Times


3 Comments to “New Julian Fellowes Project, ‘Belgravia,’ Treads New Digital Ground”

  1. I’m not a Victorian.

  2. Everything old is new again.

    Yay for experimentation, but this one’s not for me.

  3. Cool! 😀 Stretch those boundaries.

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