Conchita turns to Nan for help in dealing with her unwanted pregnancy. Nan, who has been kept on a short leash as far as money goes, opens her heart to her and says she would like nothing better than...
Nan returns to her husband's home where she and Julius strike a truce of sorts. Julius' mother, the Dowager Duchess, tells him to wait six months so as to ensure she is not pregnant by another man. ...
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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
Illuminates 1870's Marriage Alliances Between American & English Families
Backdrop: In the latter half of the 1800's, America's New York was a rising industrial and financial giant. Many "old money" families like the Vanderbilt's and Astor's began to look to England to secure English titles to add to their prestige. Whereas, the "new moneyed" Americans denied admittance into New York society, also looked to England for a title and acceptance. On the other hand, where England was still a colonial power with extreme amounts of wealth in the hands of a few landed gentry, many of these landed English families were cash poor; thus paving the way for marriage alliances to be formed across the Atlantic.
The Story: Edith Wharton's unfinished novel, The Buccaneers takes place within these historical times, and portrays the hazards that develop when socially driven families manipulate and connive young minds through the use of duty, honor, title and wealth.
This BBC production is splendidly done, with grand costumes of the day, beautiful locations, and strong performances by the cast. One slight drawback is that several key characters seem to simply fade away within the story, so that the emotional investment is oddly lost and dismissed for three of the four girls halfway through the series.
The ending developed from Wharton's notes is satisfying, at the same time that it is unsettling. For true to the time, women's choices were difficult, and often crushing. Surprisingly, you may find that you'll think on this story long afterwards.
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