Both episodes of the BBC Radio 4 two-part dramatisation of Anthony Trollope's classic 'Miss Mackenzie', a tale of a woman, past the bloom of youth, who inherits a fortune and is then beset by suitors from which to choose. Originally broadcast on 9 and 16 January 2011 in the 'Classic Serial' slot.
Miss Mackenzie by Trollope was the runner-up in Radio 4's 'Neglected Classics' vote. Margaret Mackenzie is a single woman in her mid-thirties who receives a large inheritance when her brother dies. She must then deal with what comes with the fortune, including several suitors, who may, or, may not, simply be after her money.
She decides to rent a small house in Littlebath and takes her surviving brother Tom's daughter with her as her ward. Tom and his wife, Sarah, are horrified that they have been left no money, especially as they find themselves in financial difficulties.
Margaret's suitors include her brother's junior partner, Mr Rubb, a handsome young man but 'in trade'; and her cousin, John Ball, a widowed father of seven. John is a gentle soul who lives with his ailing father and his supercilious mother, Lady Ball, and the oleaginous Mr. Maguire, a curate in Littlebath. Unfortunately Mr. Maguire has a rather terrifying squint.
Miss Mackenzie has to pick her way through this romantic minefield, not knowing who is the best suitor or whether each man wants to marry her for her fortune rather than love.
Dramatised by Martyn Wade, 'Miss Mackenzie' stars David Troughton as Anthony Trollope, Hattie Morahan as Miss Mackenzie and Philip Franks as John Ball. Also featured amongst the cast are Margaret Tyzack, Stephen Critchlow, Lloyd Thomas, Sam Dale, Joanna Monro, Leah Brotherhead, Sean Baker, Claire Harry, Christine Kavanagh and Henry Devas. Directed by Tracey Neale.
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Would have preferred unabridged reading