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Desperate Romantics

Episode 6

Duration: 59 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC HDLatest broadcast: on BBC Four

Drama series set in 19th-century London, following the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.

Rossetti and Lizzie return from their honeymoon ready to settle into conventional married life. However, when Millais proposes the idea of an artistic colony for the Brotherhood and their wives, Rossetti is immediately attracted by the bohemian notion of group living. Lizzie, on the other hand, can't bear to think of Rossetti living under the same roof as other women. Unfortunately for her, it doesn't take an artistic colony for Rossetti's eye to wander, and within days of their return he starts up an affair with William Morris's wife, Jane Burden. When Ruskin also forsakes Lizzie, withdrawing his support for her art now that she is a married woman, it begins to look as if laudanum has become her only remaining refuge.

Hunt sets out to win back Annie Miller, hoping to persuade her to move into the colony with him. He sends Fred to deliver his latest offer of marriage. Annie, unsurprisingly, has had enough of Hunt's indecision and tells Fred that she has no intention of accepting Hunt's proposal. Fred sees this as the perfect moment to seize his own chance of happiness, and he proposes to her himself. Annie bursts out laughing at the idea of marriage to Fred. Humiliated, Fred vows to himself to protect no one's feelings in future, and to always tell the truth, no matter how brutal. However, when he chooses the fragile Lizzie as a recipient of one of his home truths, little can he imagine the devastating consequences. Show less

Contributors

William 'Maniac' Hunt:
Rafe Spall
Dante Gabriel Rossetti:
Aidan Turner
John Millais:
Samuel Barnett
Fred Walters:
Sam Crane
John Ruskin:
Tom Hollander
Effie Ruskin:
Zoe Tapper
Lizzie Siddal:
Amy Manson
Annie Miller:
Jennie Jacques
Mrs Siddal:
Polly Kemp
Charlotte Siddal:
Josie Farmiloe
William Morris:
Dyfrig Morris
Edward Burne-Jones:
Peter Sandys-Clarke
Fanny Cornforth:
Rebecca Davies
Jane Burden:
Natalie Thomas
Rose La Touche:
Poppy Lee Friar
Executive Producer:
Hilary Salmon
Executive Producer:
Franny Moyle
Producer:
Ben Evans

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