‘Downton Abbey’ Creator Julian Fellowes Delivers Serialized Novel In An App With ‘Belgravia’

Julian Fellowes, creator of Downton Abbey, has a few more professional tricks up his sleeves now that he has wrapped up the most successful Masterpiece Theatre series of all time. Sure, he is onto creating The Gilded Age, which will be essentially an American Downton Abbey, but first, he will launch Belgravia in April. But Belgravia is not a new television series, but rather a serialized novel, distributed via an app in installments the way Dickens’ novels use to be shared with the public.

According to the Inquisitr, Julian Fellowes is brimming with new ideas. He is not simply the creator of Downton Abbey, but also an actor in Monarch of the Glen, the guy behind School of Rock, and the American answer to Downton Abbey, The Gilded Age. If you know anything about American history and literature, the thought of Julian Fellowes telling the story of The Gilded Age is really exciting. If you don’t, read up. It can’t and won’t disappoint.

But Belgravia might sound like a hard sell, as it is an unproven format, but it just might be a trendsetting way for people to get their entertainment, according to the New York Times.

“Now, for his next project, Belgravia, Mr. Fellowes is marrying an old narrative form — the serialized novel, in the tradition of Charles Dickens’s The Pickwick Papers— with the latest digital delivery system: an app.”

The New York Times describes Belgravia as taking place in the 1840s. It is $1.99 a chapter, and includes music, the story, and video, all delivered to your tablet, phone, or computer. Many will check out this groundbreaking project if only for curiosity.

“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 storytelling, seems to me a marvelous goal and a real adventure,” Mr. Fellowes said in a statement released through Grand Central Publishing, which will publish the novel in hardcover in July.

Rolling Stone is also curious about this new format, though many are still suggesting that it won’t have the success that a television show would have. Belgravia will tell the story of London in the 1840s, and it is the story of a man with a secret.

“The serialized novel’s official site describes Belgravia as ‘the story of a secret. A secret that unravels behind the porticoed doors of London’s grandest postcode. The story behind this secret will be revealed in weekly installments complete with twists and turns and cliff-hanger endings, all delivered to your mobile, tablet or desktop via a new app. You can read it, listen to it or switch between the two.’ According to the New York Times, the app will also boast an audio version, music, character portraits, family trees and more,” reported Rolling Stone.

For those who still prefer a physical book, a hardcover of Belgravia will be available, though that seems to spoil the fun of a new delivery method.

For more information, readers can sign up for free at Julian Fellowes’ website dedicated to Belgravia.

Will you check out Julian Fellowes’ new project Belgravia?

[Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images]