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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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Dombey & Son may not be one of Charles Dickens' best books but it is a very worthwhile read and it is one of his most poignant. This adaptation is very good, adaptation-wise and on its own. It is a shame though that the last episode didn't quite maintain the high-quality seen with the previous nine, it felt rushed- Dombey in his humble state needed much more time to develop, an extra episode would have been a good idea, it was too sketchily done here- and the ending was anti-climatic and abrupt. The omission of the James Carker/John Carker/Harriet Carker/Alice Brown subplot was also disappointing, Dombey's redemption was less convincing without it. The adaptation is very evocatively made though and looks very natural and beautiful, the darkness and brightness of the story reflected lovingly in the production values. The haunting and well-used music score convinces also, as does the funny, heartfelt and intelligent dialogue. The storytelling is both poignant and lively, showing fidelity to the source material also. The Victorian sentimentality is kept in control and is believable as a result. Julian Glover is convincingly firm as Dombey, and Lysette Anthony contrasts very well in a sweet and compassionate performance. Shirley Cain is funny and eccentric, and Zelah Clarke is both convincingly short-tempered and warm-hearted. To conclude, very good but the last episode was a little lacking compared to the rest. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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