Downton Abbey may be ending, but creator Julian Fellowes won’t be idle. His next project is a novel called Belgravia, via Grand Central Publishing.
True to the sensibilities of this multi-genre author (he has screenplays, musical books, and multiple TV shows to his name), the book will break new ground in digital publishing. Belgravia will debut in the serialized fashion of Victorian novels, with each of the ten installments coming out one-by-one via an app starting in April. The app will launch via the project’s official website, which already offers an introductory video and email subscription. Belgravia will also be available on July 5 after all the installments have been released online, but the digital packages will include bonus features like character portraits and period fashions. Each installment can also be listened to as audiobooks.
“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 story-telling, seems to me a marvelous goal and a real adventure,” Fellowes said in a statement. I am thrilled that Grand Central will bring this to a US audience.”
Like Downton Abbey, Belgravia is a period piece. The majority is set in London during the 1840s, but the prologue opens even earlier, at a ball on the eve of the 1815 Battle of Waterloo.