September 18, 2011

WHAT'S NOT TO APPROVE OF?:

The once-broke 'Downton Abbey' writer who riles his Left-wing critics: Is Julian Fellowes, creator of 'Downton Abbey', really Britain's biggest snob? (William Langley, 18 Sep 2011, The Telegraph)

Last week he was fingered as "the biggest snob in Britain", and with the second series of ITV's smash hit period drama arriving tonight, those critics of a certain persuasion - the ones Fellowes portrays as "socially insecure, Left-wing nitpickers" - are mustering for a new onslaught.

Downton tells of life at the fictional stately pile of the Earl and Countess of Grantham, but is heavily overlaid with the class attitudes of the Edwardian era. The look is lush and the dialogue clever, but it is Fellowes's sympathetic view of the aristocracy's treatment of the lower orders that has caused upset in the reliably liberal arts-and-media world.

"For all that Fellowes pays lip-service to the social revolution that will come with the Great War," sniffed the New Statesman, "his working-class characters say things like: 'Just because you're a lord, you think you can do what you like with me!' The script oozes nostalgic approval for the days when people not only knew the difference between an Earl and a Duke, but cared about it, too."

Fellowes makes no secret of either his big or small C conservatism. A lifelong Tory, he used to write speeches for Iain Duncan Smith, and earlier this year was elevated to the peerage by David Cameron. These achievements alone would make him something of a rarity in his profession, but it's the way that he trumpets his old-fashioned toffishness that really gets up his detractors' noses.


Posted by at September 18, 2011 10:14 AM
  

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