SNOBS is the story of Edith Lavery, who earns a living answering the telephone in a Chelsea-based estate agents. She is the attractive only child of a comfortably-off accountant. When she attends Royal Ascot as a guest of friends, she meets ...
bachelor Charles Broughton, who as Earl Broughton and heir to the Marquess of Uckfield, is a gossip-column favourite. He proposes, she accepts - and here is the crux of the story: is she really in love with Charles or with his title and all that goes with it? The story is narrated by a journeyman character actor who comfortably moves among the upper and middle classes, while observing their foibles. Superbly observed, the story includes a fabulous character in Charles's mother, Lady Uckfield, known as 'Googie', who wants for her son the daughter of a peer from the old, familiar world she knows and trusts. She perceives Edith to be a young woman on the make, and is vindicated when Edith, now Countess Broughton, falls for a blonde good-looking actor. Fellowes resolves his story with twists and turns aplenty. This is a tale worthy of a contemporary Jane Austen with a dash of Evelyn Waugh.