The series is based on a novel which was published in England as a serial between 1864 and 1866. In it a young girl by the name of Molly visits the home of the local nobility with some family friends and is accidentally left behind. The family takes pity on her and sends her to rest in the room of the former governess, Miss Clare. The governess forgets about Molly, but her father, a country doctor, arrives to get her.
Molly struggles to accept her new stepmother, but Hyacinth turns out to be a very different person on closer acquaintance than she pretends to be. When Cynthia arrives she comes burdened with excessive charisma and a few secrets; and although she and Molly become close friends, her habit of picking up men without even trying threatens Molly's budding romance with the son of the local Squire.
Tom Hollander, Michael Gambon, Penelope Wilton, Barbara_Flynn, Barbara Leigh-Hunt, and Elizabeth Spriggs. My favorite performance was that given by Rosamund Pike as Lady Harriet Cumnor, for her wit, directness, and depth, despite being in relatively few scenes.
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