In a classic Austen tale of social mores, young love and class , Mrs Dashwood (McTeer) and her three unmarried daughters, Elinor (Hattie Morahan), Marianne (Charity Wakefield) and Margaret (Lucy Boynton), are upset to find that Mr Dashwood’s fortune and home are left to his only son John (Gatiss). Despite promising to look after them, John instead gives them a small cottage house on his Devonshire estate.
There, determined not to let her daughters fall into financial ruin and social exclusion Mrs Dashwood sets about finding suitable husbands for her daughters. With help from wealthy neighbour Sir John Middleton (Williams), suitors for Elinor and Marianne are soon found – the dashing Willoughby (Cooper), future vicar Edward Ferrars (Stevens) and retired colonial gentleman Colonel Brandon (Morrissey). But which one will the girls choose? As ever, nothing is ever quite so simple when it comes to the world in which Austen’s characters live.