9. Belgravia

“The past, as we have been told so many times, is a foreign country where things are done differently.”

Belgravia, Julian Fellows

When I was blogging about Snobs it came to my attention that Julian Fellows had written a new book, a historic fiction set in the 1840s (well, it opens in 1815 and then jumps 25 years ahead).  Having so enjoyed Snobs and his other novel, Past Imperfect, I snagged Belgravia.  

And it is an absolutely enjoyable piece of historical fiction.  Better written than Downton Abbey, I would say (though not as good as Gosford Park).  It involves the social climbing Trenchard family and their interactions with the nobility - one family in particular.  It involves family secrets, scheming, plot twists and ultimately “The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what Fiction means.” (thank you, Oscar  Wilde - who could write without you?)

I absolutely recommend this as a good poolside read - it’s fast, and zingy, and the plot is reasonably plausible.  If it’s not as deliciously catty and real as Snobs, I attribute it to the fact that Fellows was an up and comer when he wrote Snobs and now he is establishment - I mean, the title page cites both an “editorial consultant” and a “historical consultant” which makes me wonder how much of this Sir Julian wrote by himself.  But while I may sneer at the Fellows-industrial complex, I can’t deny that I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to people who like Downton and it’s ilk.

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017