1 9 8 3 (UK)
10 x 30 minute episodes
When stern and distant shipping magnate Paul Dombey (an imperious performance from Julian Glover) fathers a son, his innocent daughter Florence (Lysette Anthony) finds herself not only without her mother – who died shortly after the birth – but displaced in her father’s affections by her sickly younger brother, Paul Jnr (Barnaby Buik).
Neglected and heartbroken, Florence is counselled by the maid, Susan Nipper (Zelah Clarke) and the kindly nurse Polly (Jenny McCracken).
Shattered by young Paul’s eventual death (at six years old), Mr Dombey travels to Leamington Spa, accompanied by Major Bagstock (James Cossins), who introduces him to the scheming Mrs Skewton (Diana King) and her widowed daughter Edith (Sharon Maughan).
Although Edith does not love Mr Dombey, she nevertheless, accepts his proposal of marriage and our innocent and long-suffering heroine, Florence, bonds with her over their shared plight – a struggle against the power of patriarchy and the monstrous disjunction between male and female roles in Victorian society.
Dombey is eventually brought low by the machinations of his treacherous clerk, Carker (Paul Darrow) who runs off with Edith, ruining Dombey’s public image and reputation.
Paul Dombey Snr.
Paul Dombey Jnr.
Polly Toodle (Richards)
Florence as a child