Theodore Alexander Brings Downton Abbey to 10th Althorp Literary Festival

Three-day public event hosts renowned authors and speakers at 
Althorp Estate, home of Charles, Ninth Earl Spencer


May 22, 2013, High Point, N.C. – 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’ appearance on June 13 is sponsored by premium 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, one of the most distinguished, aristocratic families in England.

Fellowes will discuss his impressive and varied career as an actor best known for the TV series Aristocrat 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 US 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.  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,” commented Theodore Alexander’s CEO, Harvey Dondero.  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’s, Harper’s Bazaar, and Brights of Nettlebed, distributor of Theodore Alexander in the United Kingdom.

Spencer, a noted author in his own right, founded the Althorp Literary Festival in 2003.  Since then the Festival has attracted over 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 up 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.  

For more information on the Althorp Literary Festival, please visit www.spencerofalthorp.com.

About Theodore Alexander

Theodore Alexander is renowned for unmatched craftsmanship, exquisite finishes and extraordinary design. Covering a diversity of periods and styles, their collections encompass thousands of unique lighting, home accents, case goods and upholstered furnishings. Theodore Alexander and its licensed Althorp Living History from Spencer Heritage, and Keno Bros. collections are available throughout the world at fine furniture galleries and design centers. For more information, please visit www.theodorealexander.com.

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