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Theodore Alexander Sponsors 'Downton Abbey' Creator at Festival

By Home Furnishings Business in Community/Charitable Support on May 30, 2013

Julian Fellowes, English actor, writer, and director and creator of the award-winning period drama, "Downton Abbey", will speak at the 10th Althorp Literary Festival taking place June 13-15.

Fellowes' June 13 appearance is sponsored by home furnishings manufacturer Theodore Alexander.  This is the eighth year Theodore Alexander has been a participating sponsor of the Festival, founded by Charles, Ninth Earl Spencer. The Festival takes place on the grounds of Althorp, in Northhamptonshire, the 500-year-old ancestral home of the Spencers.

Fellowes will discuss his varied career as an actor best known for the TV series "Aristocrats" and "Monarch of the Glen", and in films including "Shadowlands", "Damage", and "Tomorrow Never Dies", along with his fascination with aristocratic life in post-Edwardian Britain, the inspiration for his iconic television series, Downton Abbey. Boasting fans worldwide, the series made its U.S. debut on PBS in January 2011 as part of the Masterpiece Classic anthology. It won the 2011 Golden Globe Award for Best Miniseries or Television Film and the Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Miniseries or Movie the same year.  Starring Dame Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville and Elizabeth McGovern, Downton Abbey depicts the lives of the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants during the first decades of the 20th Century.  

"We are honored to once again support this beloved annual event," said Harvey Dondero, CEO of Theodore Alexander. "The splendid estate of Althorp and the way of life it has represented over the last 500 years is the perfect setting for the Literary Festival, and even more so with this year's appearance of Julian Fellowes with his highly popular depiction of life in an English stately home."

Theodore Alexander is the exclusive manufacturer of the Althorp Living History collection of furniture and accents inspired by or reproduced from many of the important furnishings collected by the Spencer family throughout history.

In addition to more than 30 presentations by authors, columnists, and political figures, the Festival includes musical performances and a cricket match between Althorp staffers and their rivals, Authors' XI, a team composed entirely of writers.

Other sponsors include Christie'sHarper's Bazaar, and Brights of Nettlebed, distributor of Theodore Alexander in the United Kingdom.

Spencer, a noted author, founded the Althorp Literary Festival in 2003. Since then the Festival has attracted more than 100 writers to Althorp. In support of the 10th anniversary, the Festival is donating £10,000 to Whole Child UK, to assist orphans and abandoned children in the developing world with the basics of learning including literacy.

Althorp, a grand estate that is the hallmark of the Spencer Heritage brand, has been home to 19 consecutive generations of the Spencer family and the addition of a Festival of Literature is entirely in keeping with the history and heritage of the house.  George John, Second Earl Spencer, built a library that housed one of the finest private collections of books in Europe. Although not simply a classical collection, it was extraordinarily rare and included Papal Letters of Indulgence from 1452, the first edition of the "Mazarin" Bible of 1455, the Mentz Psalter of 1457 and 57 original Caxton Bibles.  

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