Snobs

Snobs

A Novel

Book - 2005
Average Rating:
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Baker & Taylor
Preparing to marry heir Charles Broughton, attractive accountant's daughter Edith Lavery makes humorous and astute observations about contemporary England's class system.

McMillan Palgrave
From the creator of the Emmy-Award winning Downton Abbey...
"The English, of all classes as it happens, are addicted to exclusivity. Leave three Englishmen in a room and they will invent a rule that prevents a fourth joining them."

The best comedies of manners are often deceptively simple, seamlessly blending social critique with character and story. In his superbly observed first novel, Julian Fellowes, winner of an Academy Award for his original screenplay of Gosford Park, brings us an insider's look at a contemporary England that is still not as classless as is popularly supposed.

Edith Lavery, an English blonde with large eyes and nice manners, is the daughter of a moderately successful accountant and his social-climbing wife. While visiting his parents' stately home as a paying guest, Edith meets Charles, Earl of Broughton, and heir to the Marquess of Uckfield, who runs the family estates in East Sussex and Norfolk. To the gossip columns he is one of the most eligible young aristocrats around.

When he proposes. Edith accepts. But is she really in love with Charles? Or with his title, his position, and all that goes with it?

One inescapable part of life at Broughton Hall is Charles's mother, the shrewd Lady Uckfield, known to her friends as "Googie" and described by the narrator---an actor who moves comfortably among the upper classes while chronicling their foibles---"as the most socially expert individual I have ever known at all well. She combined a watchmaker's eye for detail with a madam's knowledge of the world." Lady Uckfield is convinced that Edith is more interested in becoming a countess than in being a good wife to her son. And when a television company, complete with a gorgeous leading man, descends on Broughton Hall to film a period drama, "Googie's" worst fears seem fully justified.

In this wickedly astute portrait of the intersecting worlds of aristocrats and actors, Julian Fellowes establishes himself as an irresistible storyteller and a deliciously witty chronicler of modern manners.


Blackwell North Amer
Snobs is narrated by a journeyman actor who moves comfortably among the upper classes, while chronicling their foibles. And what a tale he has to tell.
Edith Lavery, the attractive only child of a moderately successful accountant and his social-climbing wife, earns a living answering the telephone in a fashionable Chelsea estate agent. While visiting his parents' house as a member of the public, she meets Charles Broughton, Earl Broughton and heir to the Marquess of Uckfield, who runs the family estates in East Sussex and Norfolk. To the gossip-columns he is one of the most eligible young aristocrats around.
When he proposes Edith accepts. But is she really in love with Charles? Or with his title, his position and all that she thinks goes with it?
Partaking in events and never shy of commenting is Charles Broughton's mother, the shrewd Lady Uckfield, known to her friends as 'Googie'. Edith, she decides, is a young woman on the make. And when a television company descends on Broughton Hall to make a period drama. 'Googie's' worst fears are fully justified.

Baker
& Taylor

Preparing to marry heir Charles Broughton, attractive accountant's daughter Edith Lavery makes humorous and astute observations about contemporary England's class system. A first novel by the screenplay writer of Gosford Park. 75,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : St. Martin's Press, 2005
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9780312336929
0312336926
Branch Call Number: FICTION FELLOWES
FICTION FELLOWES
Characteristics: 265 p. ; 25 cm

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j
jazpur
Aug 03, 2016

Julian Fellowes has all his known ingredients in this first novel published hot on the heels of his Oscar-winning screen play for Gosford Park.The book was a Times Bestseller.It doesn't quite work for me.I think it was the narrator who was a 'fly on the wall'. He remains nameless throughout. In the action but at the same time removed and observant. The highly visual descriptions and the clever writing carried off the froth and inevitable outcomes in what is essentially a novel of its time rather than from an earlier era.When it comes to the aristocracy and the upwardly mobile in Britain, nothing has changed.Julian Fellowes is very knowledgeable on this topic.There could easily be a film or TV series there.

s
stewstealth
Feb 14, 2015

Well written prose but the novel didn't seem so satirical but more didactic. The characterizations for the protagonists were done well and the prose is very interesting. Worth reading if you're a fan of the "class differences" stories.

WVMLStaffPicks Feb 01, 2015

Entertaining satire of England's class system as it exists today. The author, winner of an Academy Award for the screenplay of the movie Gosford Park, neither despises nor glorifies the characters in this witty and elegant tale. If you like E.M. Forster, Oscar Wilde or Fawlty Towers you will enjoy this social critique told from an insider's perspective.

libbuff Jan 14, 2013

Another great glimpse of who's in and who's out in British society. Great "comedy of manners."

To the comment about the characters seeming empty.... that was the point.

m
megaculpa
Mar 13, 2012

An amusing yet scathing portrait of the British class system. Good read for those who enjoyed Downton Abbey.

a
achanson
Nov 19, 2011

Interesting, but after awhile, the characters seem kind of empty.

z
zinniagirl
Nov 12, 2011

Having lived in the UK for a decade or so, I found this book extremely funny. It describes the mores of circles I certainly never moved in, but it rang true. Hysterical.

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