Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A Book a Month


After reading my post about signing up for "A Year In Books" at Heywood Hill in London, some of you asked me to keep you updated about the books I receive. So here we are, my book for July! I was very excited to open up the most recent package from Heywood Hill and find Belgravia by Julian Fellowes. I have loved "A Year in Books" so far! The booksellers at Heywood Hill understand my literary interests and have sent me some wonderful books.

 Each book comes with a bookmark designed by Cressida Bell

Belgravia by Julian Fellowes is a book that has definitely been on my radar. I haven't started it yet but here are a few things I know --

Set in Victorian London, it came out originally as an app with chapters released weekly, each one ending with a cliffhanger -- a 21st-century version of a Victorian serial novel. It has now been published as a complete volume. And just as Julian Fellowes began "Downton Abbey" with a famous historical event -- the sinking of the Titanic -- he begins this book with a famous social event -- the Duchess of Richmond's ball in 1815 which was was held in Brussels, where some of the Allied troops fighting Napoleon were encamped. Many of the guests at the ball were young officers which meant they had to leave at once to go to their regiments. Many of them were killed shortly after while fighting in the battle of Quatre Bras, which turned into Waterloo. This ball was to become one of the most tragic parties of all history, as many of the handsome young men in attendance would be dead within days.

Most of the book is set in the early 1840s and concerns two families: the aristocratic Ballasises, who live in a mansion on Belgrave Square and the wealthy Trenchards, whose fortune stems from trade and who reside in Eaton Square. At the time there would have been a distinct social divide between the two, even though in London it was easier for the groups to mix than in the country. Events occur that will link these two families together and Julian Fellowes uses this storyline to demonstrate how things were changing back then in terms of the social order. By the end of the century aristocratic families such as the Ballasises became so financially strapped that they had to search for American heiresses to be able to keep their estates. Just like Lord Grantham did with Downton Abbey. 

It seems there are enough Downton Abbey-like qualities in the book to satisfy those of us who are missing the popular series. It has gotten good reviews and I look forward to delving into another world created by Julian Fellowes. One bookshelf in my study is now reserved for my Heywood Hill books. I look forward to seeing the twelve volumes lined up together at the end of the year.

I would love to know, what are you reading right now?   
Have you read Belgravia?

10 comments:

  1. Thank you Sunday for posting about this wonderful idea of a year of books. This book looks very interesting, however, I would also love to know what you thought of your first book received.

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    1. Hi Lisa, I am really enjoying the first book, "The Dust that Falls from Dreams."

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  2. Sounds wonderful! Thanks for sharing. Hugs! Bonnie

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  3. Sounds so good. I have not read it obviously, I'm sort of deep into Patricia Highsmith right now. The bookmark is so beautiful too.

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    1. I meant to say the artwork on the bookmarks!

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    2. Both are right - they are art bookmarks!

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  4. I haven't read this one yet but did submit a 'Request to Purchase' at work. It's more than likely I'll buy a copy for myself as it ticks lots of boxes. Have you read The Essex Serpent, Sunday? I finished it yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it.
    Keep sharing your deliveries as they come in!

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  5. Belgravia sounds wonderful! I'm considering listening to the audio version... it's narrated by Juliet Stevenson.

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