SNOBS is the story of Edith Lavery, who earns a living answering the telephone in a Chelsea-based estate agents. She is the attractive only child of a comfortably-off accountant. When she attends Royal Ascot as a guest of friends, she meets bachelor Charles Broughton, who as Earl Broughton and heir to the Marquess of Uckfield, is a gossip-column favourite. He proposes, she accepts - and here is the crux of the story: is she really in love with Charles or with his title and all that goes with it? The story is narrated by a journeyman character actor who comfortably moves among the upper and middle classes, while observing their foibles. Superbly observed, the story includes a fabulous character in Charles's mother, Lady Uckfield, known as 'Googie', who wants for her son the daughter of a peer from the old, familiar world she knows and trusts. She perceives Edith to be a young woman on the make, and is vindicated when Edith, now Countess Broughton, falls for a blonde good-looking actor. Fellowes resolves his story with twists and turns aplenty. This is a tale worthy of a contemporary Jane Austen with a dash of Evelyn Waugh.
Julian Fellowes, actor, writer, producer, was educated at Ampleforth, Magdalene College, Cambridge and the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. He trained in repertory theatre at Northampton and Harrogate before making his West End debut in 'A Touch of Spring' by Sam Taylor. He is probably best known for his portrayal of the incorrigible Lord Kilwillie in the BBC's series, 'Monarch of the Glen'. In the cinema, he was seen in 'Shadowlands' with Anthony Hopkins, 'Damage' with Jeremy Irons and 'Tomorrow Never Dies' with Pierce Brosnan. As a TV writer his scripts include 'Little Sir Nicholas,' 'Little Lord Fauntleroy' (winner of an International Emmy, 1995) and 'The Prince and the Pauper' (nominated for a Bafta, 1997) which he also produced. His screenplay debut for the big screen was 'Gosford Park' directed by Robert Altman, which won a plethora of prizes, not least the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. He has also worked on a new version of 'Vanity Fair' with Reese Witherspoon. He is now writing the book for a new stage musical of 'Mary Poppins' for Cameron Mackintosh/ Disney (autumn 2004). His adaptation of Nigel Balchin's 'A Way Through the Wood', which he also directs, is due for release in 2004, starring Emily Watson, Tom Wilkinson and Rupert Everett. As well as his novel SNOBS he has a children's story coming in 2004. He and his wife Emma have a son, Peregrine and a dachsund, Fudge.