Louisa Trotter works her way up from being a skivvy to being the Queen of cooks, cook to the King, and owner of the Bentinck Hotel. Her life and happenings among the guests and staff of the... See full summary »
Francis Urquhart is the chief whip of the Conservative party. When Margaret Thatcher resigns as leader, he remains neutral and after a general election where the conservatives are returned ... See full summary »
Richard Bellamy decides he wants a portrait of his wife Marjorie and she engages Scone a somewhat Bohemian artist who has lived in Paris and eschews his rich family's background and status. When he asks for several of Lady Marjorie's dresses to be sent to his studio, he gets to meet the precocious Sarah who is immediately taken with him. He decides he wants to paint her as well and over the course of several weeks she spends her Wednesday evenings off with him, never quite seeing what he is putting on canvas. She regales him with tales of 165 Eaton Place and of her now good friend and roommate, Rose. The Bellamys are quite pleased with his painting of Lady Marjorie but are shocked at a public exhibition of his work to find that that he has displayed her portrait side-by-side with that of the two maids, now semi-clad. The resulting shock and disgrace - and the belief that Scone painted the portraits in their room - is such that Richard wants both Sarah and Rose fired. Written by
Sarah poses for an artist causing problems for Rose and the Bellamys
Wonderful episode. It is realistic, from what I know of the social history--how servants were little more than poorly paid property without lives of their own. Sarah poses for an artist who doesn't care about how he uses people (or how art uses people). When Scone hangs both pictures in a gallery, side by side, Lady Marjorie and Richard are embarrassed. Ready to dismiss both servants--despite Roses' history, they reveal their total participation in the social class system. The only objection, upon reflection, is that this is uncharacteristic of Richard as we come to know him. In a later episode he is willing to stick up for servant--Mary-- because he can not deny his background as a preacher's son. All in all, this is a terrific episode.
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