Past Imperfect

by Julian Fellowes

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Featured on The Book Show on Sky Arts on 29 January 2009.


Snobs, his first novel, was brilliant and Past Imperfect is better and coming from ‘the bottom end of the gentry’ gives Julian’s a voyeuristic authenticity! In the late 60’s as Britain was being swept by hippies and free love the aristocracy still clung on to the social set piece of ‘the season’ where eligible girls and boys were introduced to each other at balls and parties. More than 30 years later a childless and incredibly wealthy man’s dying wish forces his sworn enemy to revisit the past to search for an heir. It is deliciously well observed, charting the demise of the upper classes, and eye wateringly funny in places – simply a guilty treat to be enjoyed.

Past Imperfect Synopsis

Damian Baxter is hugely wealthy and dying. He lives alone in a big house in Surrey, looked after by a chauffeur, butler, cook and housemaid. He has but one concern - his fortune in excess of £500 million and who should inherit it on his death.

PAST IMPERFECT is the story of a quest. Damian Baxter wishes to know if he has a living heir. By the time he married in his late thirties he was sterile (the result of adult mumps), but what about before that unfortunate illness? He was not a virgin. Had he sired a child? A letter from a girlfriend from these times suggests he did. But the letter is anonymous.

Damian contacts someone he knew from their days at university. He gives him a list of girls he slept with and sets him a task: find his heir!


Past Imperfect Press Reviews

'A gloriously funny, bumpy ride through modern times.' Andrew Barrow, THE EVENING STANDARD

'he knows too, how to create memorable characters. Working with an upper-class cast Fellowes populates PAST IMPERFECT with a gallery of sometimes grotesque but mostley affectionately drawn toffs - acidly observered by the narrator, ever peevish, ever diverting.' Peter Burton, THE DAILY EXPRESS

'PAST IMPERFECT is both a historical document for that vanished era and a comedy of manners....... sharply perceptive and required reading for anyone who was there.' Claire Colvin, THE DAILY MAIL

'Its plot cannot fail to grip the reader...... what elevates this novel to much more than a comedy of manners is the depth of compassion the author displays for his characters.' Elisa Segrave, THE SPECTATOR

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780297855224
Publication date: 30/10/2008
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780297855224
Publication date: 30th October 2008
Author: Julian Fellowes
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Format: Hardback
Genres: eBook Favourites, Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction, Reading Groups,

About Julian Fellowes

Julian Fellowes, actor, writer, producer, was educated at Ampleforth, Magdalene College, Cambridge and the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art. He trained in repertory theatre at Northampton and Harrogate before making his West End début in 'A Touch of Spring' by Sam Taylor at the Comedy Theatre. He is probably best known for his portrayal of the incorrigible Lord Kilwillie in the BBC's popular Sunday night series, 'Monarch of the Glen'. In the cinema, he was seen in 'Shadowlands' with Anthony Hopkins, 'Damage' with Jeremy Irons and 'Tomorrow Never Dies' with Pierce Brosnan. As a writer for television, he ...

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