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Because of their "new money" background, four American girls have difficulty breaking into the upper-crust society of New York. Laura Testvalley, the governess of one of the girls, suggests a London season and thus the young women set sail for England and the unsuspecting English aristocracy. In England, all the girls soon find eligible husbands and the youngest girl, Nan, seems to land the best husband of them all: the handsome and very wealthy Julius, Duke of Trevennick. Nan and Julius meet for the first time in a ruin, which is an indication of where their marriage is soon heading. After the nuptials, Julius seems more interested in clocks and stable boys than Nan's happiness, and all the girls soon discover that English upper-class men are not at all what they expected and hoped for. Written by
I paid almost 40 buckaroos for this PBS/BBC collaboration...and it was worth every red cent. What a treat...what a wonderful story...what amazing characters...and what a fantastic cast! Mira, Carla, James Frain, and Greg Wise are absolutely AWESOME. I love them all for making this mini such a delight. It's absorbing to the point that I was glued to my TV set till the very end. Mira's character (Conchita) is full of fire and has an amazingly kind heart...and her Brazilian accent is perfect. Carla wins your heart as the head-strong, and independent Nan (Annabelle). Greg Wise is great as the romantic and determined Guy Twaite. But, the best--to me--is James Frain's Julius, Duke of Trevenick. Julius is one of the most complex characters I've seen on a small or large screen in a very long time. He's a young man who feels immense love but is unable to express it adequately...and when frustrated by his emotions or by his young wife (Nan), he is prone to abusive behavior...that he later regrets. He is a product and victim of his times...a prisoner of his title and what is expected of him as a Duke. Carla's and James' chemistry was so wonderful that some how you hope they will be able to work things out in their difficult marriage. You see all the missed opportunities on the part of both Nan and Julius...opportunities that probably would have made their union a success. So, it's sad and rather tragic to see it all fall apart, when it really didn't have to. But, Julius and Nan are both VERY young...and ill equiped to overcome outside influences, or to fully realize the duties of their positions as Duke and Duchess of Trevenick. Julius is guilty of bad actions and heartless decisions, yet, at the same time, he is capable of sincere kindness and gentle-ness. He is a man torn between the past and it's restraints upon him and the present with it's promise of love and happiness if he would but only allow himself to feel and express it. Julius Trevenick is someone you love and hate at the same time.
All the characters are well drawn. All the cast is first-rate..and the story is extremely compelling. I believe Edith Wharton would be very proud.
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