NEWPORT — Julian Fellowes, the writer, director, producer, novelist and actor who created ‘Downton Abbey’ and ‘The Gilded Age,’ will be in Newport next month for an event sponsored by the Preservation Society of Newport County.
The event will include dinner and conversation with Lord Fellowes in the opulent surroundings of the Great Hall of The Breakers and will begin with cocktails, followed by a seated dinner. Before dessert, Fellowes will speak with an interviewer for approximately 30 minutes and answer questions before dessert is served.
Fellowes was also named the recipient of the 2022 Antiquarian Award – the highest honor bestowed by the Preservation Society of Newport County – in recognition of the collective impact of his work. The award will be presented at the society’s annual meeting tonight in the Rosecliff Ballroom. Although Fellowes was not present, he recorded remarks which will be broadcast at the ceremony and will receive the award on July 26.
“Lord Fellowes has had a lasting impact, not only on the Preservation Society, but also on the city of Newport and the state of Rhode Island with ‘The Gilded Age,’ his new series on HBO,” said Trudy Coxe, CEO and executive director of the Preservation Society. said. “We are honored to have filmed this wonderful historical drama in a number of our home museums, contributing to the authenticity of a series that beautifully showcases Newport and its Golden Age heritage while offering a huge economic boost to the region and we look forward to welcoming Lord Fellowes for this special evening on July 26th!
The Golden Age was a time of immense economic change, huge fortunes made and lost, and fierce rivalry between old and new, according to a company statement. Nowhere is this rivalry more apparent than on East 61st Street, where Marian Brook and her well-aged aunts, Agnes van Rhijn and Ada Brook, live across from the impossibly wealthy George and Bertha Russell. The Russells are both fiercely ambitious, he financially, she socially, and they are determined to reach the highest echelons in New York. Meanwhile in Brooklyn, Marian’s friend and confidante Peggy Scott is forging her own path in the black elite world. In this shimmering world on the brink of the modern era, will the established rules of society prevail, or will the game change entirely? Filming for Season 2 of “The Gilded Age” is currently underway at various locations in Newport, including several Preservation Society mansions.
“I am extremely honoured, even overwhelmed, to receive the Antiquarian Award,” Fellowes said in a statement. “I knew Newport. I read about Newport. But I hadn’t been there, I hadn’t experienced it, until we started doing the program. I think it’s an amazing place. I’ve called it a palace village before, but that’s what it is, grand, impressive even, but alluring at the same time.
Fellowes has had a long and distinguished career in film, television, publishing and the dramatic arts. He received an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay in 2002 for ‘Gosford Park’, his first produced film, and he is the creator, sole writer and executive producer of the worldwide hit series ‘Downton Abbey’, which received 69 Emmy nominations, winning 15, over its six seasons. He also received a Golden Globe Award and a special BAFTA Award for “Downton Abbey”. The film “Downton Abbey” written and produced by Fellowes was released in 2019. More recently, the feature film “Downton Abbey: A New Era”, written and produced by Fellowes, was released in the spring of 2022.
His other work includes “Separate Lies”, for which he received the National Board of Review Directorial Debut Award; “From Time to Time,” which he wrote and directed and which won best film at the Chicago Children’s Film Festival and best film at the Fiuggi Family Festival in Rome; “The Young Victoria”; “Vanity Fair”; his Emmy Award-winning “Little Lord Fauntleroy”; and “The Prince and the Pauper”, nominated for the BAFTAs. He wrote three novels – ‘Belgravia’, ‘Snobs’ and ‘Past Imperfect’ – which were Sunday Times bestsellers. He is responsible for the “book” of Broadway musicals “Mary Poppins” and “School of Rock – The Musical”, for which he received a Tony nomination. In January 2011 he received a peerage and entered the House of Lords as Lord Fellowes of West Stafford.
Visit NewportMansions.org for more information and tickets.