Video from The Hoover Institution
The Past Is Prologue For Lord Julian Fellowes
"The Oscar-winning creator of Gosford Park and Downton Abbey speaks about history, creativity and noblesse oblige." from video introduction
"Lord Fellowes of West Stafford's full title is The Lord Fellowes of West Stafford. His name is Julian Alexander Fellowes, and he is a current member of the House of Lords." from UK Parliment
The Family Tensions that Taught Julian Fellowes About Class
"Julian Fellowes is best known as the writer and creator of the multi-award-winning ITV series Downton Abbey. But he's also an actor, a novelist, an Oscar-winning screenwriter and a member of the House of Lords. He tells US journalist Katie Couric that his preoccupation with the hierarchies of early 20th Century British society is rooted in his own family history.
His parents had very different upbringings, and as a boy Fellowes witnessed his mother's treatment by relatives of his father who believed she'd been out to "better himself" by marrying him.
"She was a great beauty and my great-aunts thought she had "caught" him. They thought my father was a simpleton and had been ensnared."
Fellowes and his three brothers were accepted into the family "because we were four phials of the sacred blood". They would be invited for tea with their great-aunts, but their mother was never asked to stay.
"When you're a child you don't know what's going on, but gradually I started to understand the game that was being played," Fellowes says.
Seeing his mother reduced to tears woke him up to the "cruelty" and arbitrary nature of the entire system.
"You may be brilliant, you may be one of the great brains of your generation, but you are initially overlooked and dismissed," he says..." from the article: The Family Tensions that Taught Julian Fellowes About Class