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Downton Abbey

"A 19th century release with a 21st century app," Julian Fellowes on digitally serialising his new book

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By John McCarthy, Opinion Editor

April 13, 2016 | 2 min read

Downton Abbey writer Julian Fellowes is capitalising on his star power to pilot a new form of story-telling.

His new Belgravia novel will be serialised in the style of Charles Dickens, released chapter by chapter, via a specialised app.

The novel, set in 1840s and around the Battle of Waterloo, blends Victorian gradual storytelling with a modern distribution system and enables Fellowes to write while people read his work, shortening the production process.

The Telegraph reports him as saying: “When [my publisher] presented it to me, it just seemed kind of fun

“A 19th century release with a 21st century app. You certainly hope it’s going to work. With everything you’ve always got to take a chance on things. Sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t. There’s something pleasing about this, that you can sit down with your sandwich and read it over lunch.”

Channeling the huge success of serial drama on platforms such as HBO, Netflix and Amazon Prime, he concluded: ““I would have thought that the serial reading format could be something for now. I think it’s possible that this could be the beginning of a new habit.”

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