Past Imperfect

by Julian Fellowes

eBooks of the Month Family Drama Modern and Classic Literary Fiction

LoveReading View on Past Imperfect

Reviewed on Richard & Judy on Wednesday 13 May 2009.


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


Wealthy Damian Baxter is dying without an heir when an unsigned letter arrives inferring he had a son thirty years ago.  The story backtracks to the late 60s and into the lives of six girlfriends who he slept with before mumps rendered him sterile.  It’s the dying days of debs, the last coming-our balls of the season and a period when the upper classes were having to adjust to changing times.  Full of terrific observations on human nature, it’s funny, poignant and enormously enjoyable.


Comparison: Jilly Cooper, Eva Rice (Lost Art of Keeping Secrets), Veronica Henry.

Sarah Broadhurst

Past Imperfect Synopsis

Damian Baxter is very, very rich - and he's dying. He lives alone in a big house in Surrey, looked after by a chauffeur, butler, cook and housemaid. He has but one concern: who should inherit his fortune...

PAST IMPERFECT is the story of a quest. Damian Barker 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...


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Past Imperfect Press Reviews

'A gloriously funny, bumpy ride through modern times.'  Andrew Barrow,  THE EVENING STANDARD
"Julian Fellowes has a wickedly keen eye for observing the habits of the upper classes ... Past Imperfect is intelligently and wittily written." DAILY EXPRESS

'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
'An elegant satire, it offers an entertaining commentary on our times and a heartfelt lament for a kinder, more courteous Britain' Sebastian Shakespeare, TATLER

'It is amusingly written, ends neatly, quietly subverts the surface stereotyping of its characters, and will have a certain kind of social historian swooning with pleasure.' DJ Taylor,  THE GUARDIAN

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781780229232
Publication date: 30/04/2009
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781780229232
Publication date: 30th April 2009
Author: Julian Fellowes
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 528 pages
Genres: eBook Favourites, Family Drama, Literary Fiction,
Categories: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945),

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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