Set in the 1930s, Britain is in depression and still scarred by the effects of World War I. Young and passionate Sarah Burton returns to her conservative home-county, bursting with modern ideas. As the new headmistress in South Riding, she inspires her girls --including Lydia Holly, a scholarship student from the slums-- to think for themselves. But not everyone sees eye-to-eye with Miss Burton. She finds a few allies, Joe Astell being one; but the sparks really start to fly when she crosses paths with Robert Carne, a haughty landlord whom she despises...
A tale of conflicted love at the heart of a community in turmoil