Interview with Julian Fellowes

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Literary Lights 2018 with Julian Fellowes and Rebecca Eaton

Until the pandemic intervened this year, each spring the Associates of the Boston Public Library has honored a group of distinguished authors with our Literary Lights award. The evening brings together our community to honor writers, books, and libraries, while raising critical funds to ensure that the treasures housed in the BPL’s Special Collections can be preserved and protected from the ravages of time.

The remarks of the authors honored are often insightful and entertaining. At a time when there are so many challenging issues to be faced, we hope sharing the thoughts of one of our recent Literary Lights might offer a brief, but welcome, break from the hard work we are all endeavoring to do. Two years ago, Julian Fellowes, the creator of Downtown Abbey, sat down on our stage to be interviewed by Rebecca Eaton, the executive producer of Masterpiece Theater. The ensuing conversation covered everything from his birth in Cairo to why Marcel Proust does not translate to film. Take a look (by clicking on the lower left play button):

As seen above, Literary Lights 2018's featured speaker, was award-winning writer, director, producer and actor Julian Fellowes. As creator, sole writer and executive producer of the hit television series Downton Abbey, Fellowes has won three Emmy awards and a Golden Globe. Fellowes received the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Gosford Park (2002). His work was also honored by the Writer’s Guild of America, the New York Film Critics’ Circle and the National Society of Film Critics for Best Screenplay. Other writing credits for film include Piccadilly Jim (2004), Vanity Fair (2004), Young Victoria (2009), The Tourist (2010), Romeo & Juliet (2013) and the upcoming The Chaperone and for television the four-hour miniseries Titanic and Doctor Thorne. Fellowes also wrote and directed the award-winning films Separate Lies and From Time to Time. Fellowes wrote the books for the Tony-nominated stage production of Mary Poppins and for School of Rock: The Musical which opened on Broadway in December 2015, and was written and produced by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Fellowes has authored three international bestselling novels: Snobs (2005), Past Imperfect (2008), and most recently, Belgravia (2016). Educated at Ampleforth College in Yorkshire and Magdalene College, Cambridge, Fellowes was given a peerage in 2011 and entered the House of Lords as the Lord Fellowes of West Stafford.

Rebecca Eaton, executive producer of MASTERPIECE on PBS, joined Fellowes on stage in conversation.

To learn more about Literary Lights and the 2021 line-up, visit




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