18th-century England and Ireland viewed through the eyes of four beautiful high-born sisters - Caroline, Emily, Louisa, and Sarah Lennox, great-granddaughters of a king, daughters of a cabinet minister, and wives of politicians and peers.
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1999  
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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
Siân Phillips ...  Narrator / ... 6 episodes, 1999
Alun Armstrong ...  Henry Fox 5 episodes, 1999
Ben Daniels ...  Lord Kildare 5 episodes, 1999
Serena Gordon Serena Gordon ...  Lady Caroline / ... 5 episodes, 1999
Anne-Marie Duff ...  Lady Louisa / ... 4 episodes, 1999
Toby Jones ...  Ste Fox 4 episodes, 1999
Tom Mullion Tom Mullion ...  Thomas Conolly 4 episodes, 1999
Jodhi May ...  Lady Sarah 4 episodes, 1999
Geraldine Somerville ...  Lady Emily 4 episodes, 1999
Hugh Sachs Hugh Sachs ...  Charles James Fox 4 episodes, 1999
Tom Beard ...  Charles 3rd Duke of Richmond 3 episodes, 1999
Andrew Fitzsimons Andrew Fitzsimons ...  Young Edward Fitzgerald / ... 3 episodes, 1999
Brendan Morrissey Brendan Morrissey ...  Fox's Butler 3 episodes, 1999
Clive Swift ...  King George II 3 episodes, 1999
Katherine Wogan Katherine Wogan ...  Mary 3rd Duchess of Richmond 3 episodes, 1999
George Anton George Anton ...  William Ogilvie 2 episodes, 1999
Jeremy Bulloch ...  Older George Napier 2 episodes, 1999
Julian Fellowes ...  Duke of Richmond 2 episodes, 1999
Diane Fletcher Diane Fletcher ...  Duchess of Richmond 2 episodes, 1999
Patrick Duncan Patrick Duncan ...  First Guest / ... 2 episodes, 1999
David Gant ...  Older Ogilvie 2 episodes, 1999
Andrew Havill ...  Charles Bunbury 2 episodes, 1999
Lara Madden Lara Madden ...  Young Lady Sarah 2 episodes, 1999
Frank Kelly ...  George Selwyn 2 episodes, 1999
John Light ...  Lord Edward Fitzgerald 2 episodes, 1999
Saoirse O'Brien Saoirse O'Brien ...  Young Lady Louisa 2 episodes, 1999
Katharine Rogers Katharine Rogers ...  Princess Caroline 2 episodes, 1999
Pauline McLynn ...  Susan Fox-Strangways 2 episodes, 1999
Jérôme Pradon Jérôme Pradon ...  Duc de Lauzun 2 episodes, 1999
William Sparks William Sparks ...  Young Charles 2 episodes, 1999
Diana Quick ...  Older Lady Louisa 2 episodes, 1999
Eamon Rohan Eamon Rohan ...  Horace Walpole 2 episodes, 1999
Paul Ridley Paul Ridley ...  Older Tom Conolly 2 episodes, 1999
Amelia Warner ...  Lady Cecelia 2 episodes, 1999
Sheila Ruskin Sheila Ruskin ...  Older Lady Sarah 2 episodes, 1999
Adam Webb Adam Webb ...  William Fitzgerald 2 episodes, 1999
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Storyline

18th-century England and Ireland viewed through the eyes of four beautiful high-born sisters - Caroline, Emily, Louisa, and Sarah Lennox, great-granddaughters of a king, daughters of a cabinet minister, and wives of politicians and peers.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | History

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

PBS [United States]

Country:

UK | Ireland | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 October 1999 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Aristocrats See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The gold and jewel encrusted gown worn by Jodhi May (as Lady Sarah) to the court of the newly crowned George III was previously worn by Helen Mirren as Queen Charlotte in The Madness of King George (1994). See more »

Goofs

Geraldine Somerville, who was the principal actress playing the second Lennox sister Emily, appears in the background as a mourner in the scene where Lady Caroline and Mr. Fox are talking at a funeral in the first episode of the series. At this point in the story, the character of Emily is a child so Geraldine was available as an extra and the casting directors didn't think anyone would notice. See more »

Quotes

Lady Emily: Is not the act of love... strange? Jimmy says that its frequent use is necessary to a woman's health and happiness.
Caroline: That's abominably indelicate.
Lady Emily: He says what he thinks.
Caroline: I'm sure one sees many mighty comfortable old virgins.
Lady Emily: Perhaps that is so. But one is awfully glad not to be among them...
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Making of 'Aristocrats' (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

The Croppy Boy
Traditional
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User Reviews

 
Thoughts from a Jane Austen fan...
16 March 2013 | by StarDragynSee all my reviews

The first episode of this is somewhat similar to a Jane Austen style story, though it is set in the mid-late 1700s rather than early 1800s. After the first episode or two, it becomes generally more serious and more broad. The costumes are very different from Austen films (being set in the preceding era), but they are very beautiful and very accurate to the time period. The dresses are much more glamorous, even though the men look rather sillier in my opinion.

I'm not sure how close this telling matches to the actual history of this family--I'm assuming there are at least some discrepancies--but even thinking it is at least based on real people and real stories makes it much more interesting to watch. To think that this wasn't simply invented by an author (no offense to Austen!) makes me much more tolerant of any lags or disagreeableness in "plot", since it's not supposed to be a contrived one. There are many, many characters, which may be hard for some people to keep track of who's who, and many decades are covered, so time sometimes passes in large chunks.

The film is a drama and deals with some very serious issues, to a greater extent than Austen ever delved into. Much of it is somber, but not really depressing. The movie is less of a source of "entertainment" than Austen films, but it is a great look at another era and the story is intriguing enough to keep you wondering what will happen next. It does not leave you so much with the blissful smile of contentment and happily ever after that an Austen story provides, but I felt like I had gotten to know and feel for the main characters, and learned some things about history in the process. It's a great choice if you're interested in venturing into another time period, rather than the Regency (Austen) or the far more common Victorian (Dickens, etc) eras.

This movie would be especially good for passing a lazy, rainy afternoon, when you'll feel more content with this milder sort of entertainment than what your expectations might be for a Friday night. Just get a cup of tea or cocoa and let yourself drift back to another time and world for a while.


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