A Woman of Substance charts the life of Emma Harte, from kitchen maid at the beginning of the 20th Century, to respected business woman and Grandmother in the 1980's. From humble beginnings...
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As her children plot the takeover of her retail empire, Emma Harte plans her own counter-moves against them. Emma started life as a maid in the home of Adam Fairley, the wealthy local mill owner. She...
Now in Leeds, the pregnant Emma Harte learns that Blackie O'Neill has gone to Ireland to care for a sick friend. She finds a place to stay but has tried everywhere to get a job with no success. Her ...
As Emma Harte's empire grows, she arranges her assets in such a way as no one knows she is the buyer, noting that most men don't like dealing with a woman on business matters. The various layers of ...
Two-part, four-hour followup to "A Woman of Substance" with Deborah Kerr, now playing Emma Harte at age 80 in the last winter of her life and dealing with her granddaughter Paula, as well ... See full summary »
The Barbara Taylor Bradford trilogy that began with A Woman of Substance ends with this epic tale! Paula O' Neill feuds with her cousins as she fights to save her grandmother's business-and struggles to salvage her marriage.
In the 1830's in northern England, Riah Millican, a widow with three children, takes a job as housekeeper to a reclusive former teacher, Percival Miller. Miller makes Riah the gift of a ... See full summary »
Tide of Life follows the fortunes of young housekeeper, Emily Kennedy, as she learns about relationships with three very different men. Forced from home of her first employer, Sep McGilby ... See full summary »
In mid-19th century Northumberland , Hannah Boyle is left with the family of Matthew Thornton, the man her dying mother claims fathered her. Ill-treated by Thornton's bitter and vindictive ... See full summary »
Set in 1870s England, the story tells of Annabella Lagrange and the terrible secret her wealthy parents have kept from her. When she finally learns the truth, she runs away and eventually ... See full summary »
Yorkshire in the 1880's: Joe Skinner marries Lily Whitmore, the woman he has long admired, to give a name to her illegitimate child by Lionel Fillmore, the opportunistic son of an ... See full summary »
Seperated from her prostitute mother as the woman flees on foot down the filthy mid-19th century streets of Newcastle from the police, ten year old Millie is taken under the wing of rag ... See full summary »
On the eve of World War I, Agnes Conway manages both the business and the problems of her troubled family. She finds the strength to break class barriers and help her sister Jessie marry a ... See full summary »
Wealthy estate owner sir Michael Audley willingly marries a gold-digger, his only daughter Alicia's governess Lucy née Gray. Sir Michael's dashing, in-living orphaned nephew Robert 'Bob' ... See full summary »
Betsan Morris Evans
Melanie Clark Pullen
A Woman of Substance charts the life of Emma Harte, from kitchen maid at the beginning of the 20th Century, to respected business woman and Grandmother in the 1980's. From humble beginnings Emma Harte starts her business with a small shop, but over the next twenty years she expands her stores and invests in the growing textile industry in Leeds. By the time of World War 2, Emma is the head of a major retail and manufacturing empire, but she has struggled all her life to find love. After an illegitimate daughter and two marriages, she finally meets the love of her life, Paul McGill, but their affair is cut short by a tragic accident, leaving Emma with his daughter. In the 1980's Emma faces one of her biggest tests - her childrens attempt to remove her as head of her company, but Emma is far from the senile old woman they think she is - she is determined to stop them at all costs. Written by
As of 2010, 25 years after it was first screened, this is still the highest ever rated programme on Channel 4 in the UK - peaking at 13.84 million viewers on the third night - 4th January 1985. See more »
The transatlantic liner Queen Elizabeth on which Paul McGill says he is booked to go to the USA in 1939 was not completed until 1940 and did not enter commercial service until after WW2, about 1946. He may have meant the Queen Mary. See more »
Young Emma Harte:
[to Gerald, after he has attempted to rape her early in the film]
I mean to ruin you... all of you. The entire Fairley family.
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A Woman of Substance is an entertaining, typically British mini series, which tells the story of a young woman empowering herself through hard work and hatred against a high class family that have always been indifferent and bossy to her and her poor relatives. She rapidly grows into a powerful business woman who ruins the hated family to the very last crumb.
A biography must always find a fine line: how 'old' can the actors grow and when to substitute characters with new players? They've done a marvelous job with 'Blackie' Neeson; he really looks like an old man at the end of the series, although his mannerisms completely oppose his former, playful self. And it must be added: gluing a beard and silvering his hair makes the job a lot easier.
Miss Seagrove didn't make it into old age, she got replaced by (a first-rate) Deborah Kerr. In the main story Emmy ages some 40 years, but in her fifties she still looks like the teenage lass from the beginning of the story. Here, old-fashioned haircuts and clothes don't help; Seagrove just has too youthful a face The acting is of a reasonable level. Seagrove does a fine job, with the exception of some cheesy moments and the instances where she talks to her young children
as if she doesn't know how to talk to kids. Although this could also
have been the director's fault. All in all, Seagrove is believable in her role, and she has one of the sweetest smiles I've ever seen...
The other dozen or so actors are okay but forgettable, except for two of them: Blackie, the happy-go-lucky everybody's friend and Gerald Fairley, Mr. Evil Impersonated; overacting has never been so effective!
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