In 1939, young Oliver, Calypso, Polly and Walter visit friends and family in Cornwall. Spanish Civil War is over and WW2 has begun, so they enjoy their love life while they can. Decades later, they gather again, this time for a funeral.




1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Series cast summary:
Felicity Kendal ...  Helena 5 episodes, 1992
Claire Bloom ...  Sophy (older) 5 episodes, 1992
Jennifer Ehle ...  Calypso 5 episodes, 1992
Richard Johnson ...  Oliver (older) 5 episodes, 1992
Rebecca Hall ...  Sophy 5 episodes, 1992
Nicholas Le Prevost ...  Hamish / ... 5 episodes, 1992
Paul Eddington ...  Richard 5 episodes, 1992
Oliver Cotton ...  Max 5 episodes, 1992
Virginia McKenna ...  Polly (older) 5 episodes, 1992
Trudy Weiss ...  Monika 5 episodes, 1992
Vivienne Ritchie Vivienne Ritchie ...  Iris 5 episodes, 1992
John Elmes John Elmes ...  James 5 episodes, 1992
James Gaddas ...  Tony 4 episodes, 1992
Tara Fitzgerald ...  Polly 4 episodes, 1992
Toby Stephens ...  Oliver 4 episodes, 1992
Polly Adams ...  Sarah 4 episodes, 1992
Rosemary Harris ...  Calypso (older) 3 episodes, 1992
Martin Benson ...  Pauli 3 episodes, 1992
Jeremy Brook Jeremy Brook ...  Paul 3 episodes, 1992
Joss Brook Joss Brook ...  David 3 episodes, 1992
Richard Syms ...  Parson 3 episodes, 1992


Presents the lives and loves of a family of cousins from 1939 to the present. Follows very closely the Mary Wesley novel. Begins with a funeral and uses the reminiscences of those gathered to fill in details in the lives of Richard and Helena and their nieces and nephews. Written by Dorothy Burgess

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance | War

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?


Felicity Kendal had previously worked with Paul Eddington in the BBC TV Series The Good Life (1975). See more »


Referenced in The Big Fat Anniversary Quiz (2007) See more »

User Reviews

Nudity, smut and depravity—what's not to like?
5 September 2013 | by The_late_Buddy_RyanSee all my reviews

With a strong cast headed by two of the stars of the Britcom classic "Good Neighbors" and a rash of complaints from Netflix members about nudity, "smut" and depravity, this '92 UK series seemed like a sureshot. Based on a novel by the renegade daughter of an old-school military family, it's a brisk, gossipy account of the martial, marital and extramarital adventures of an extended family of cousins in the early years of WW II. The Martha Stuarty title might be misleading; the lawn in question adjoins a cliffside house in Cornwall that belongs to most of the other characters' Aunt Helena (Felicity Kendal!), the exasperated wife of Uncle Richard (Paul Eddington!), a cranky, appeasement-minded, one-legged veteran of "the last show" (WW I). Also in residence is Sophy (an amazing debut performance by 11-year-old Rebecca Hall), a sensitive younger cousin who's being raised, haphazardly, by Richard and Helena. It's true that some of the characters, in their youthful self-involvement, can be a bit much (notably flashy, posh-voiced Calypso, a nice juicy part for Jennifer Ehle), but the series is consistently involving and occasionally quite moving. Paul Eddington totally nails a scene in which Richard, portrayed as a squawking grotesque till then, discusses sex and marriage with Calypso in a sweetly unguarded way; the last episode, set in the 1970s—by which time adorable Sophy has grown up to be a cranky Claire Bloom—is watchable but disappointing.

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Release Date:

5 March 1992 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Camomile Lawn See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(4 parts)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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