The Making of a Lady

The Making of a Lady
Radio Times
Review by:
Jane Rackham

Treading in the Edwardian footsteps of Downton Abbey, this period drama based on a largely forgotten short novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett tells the complex story of the genteel, well-educated but penniless Emily (South Riding’s Lydia Wilson). Emily always hoped to marry for love but, in order to survive, she accepts a practical if unromantic offer of marriage from the wealthy widower nephew (Linus Roache) of her snooty employer Lady Byrne (Joanna Lumley).

But it’s when Emily strikes up a friendship with a handsome captain and his Indian wife that she finds herself unexpectedly in danger. It’s a much darker tale than Burnett’s classic The Secret Garden, full of skulduggery and nail-biting twists and turns, while the script by Kate Brooke (The Forsyte Saga) is more of a psychological thriller than the well-mannered soap that is Downton.

About this programme

Period drama based on Frances Hodgson Burnett's romantic novel The Making of a Marchioness. Impoverished Emily marries her employer's wealthy, widowed nephew Lord Walderhurst for money, rather than love, and the pair move from London to his stately home. Their relationship begins to blossom, but Walderhurst's staff are suspicious of their new lady and her life is put in danger when she fosters a friendship with her husband's nephew and his Indian wife. Starring Lydia Wilson, Linus Roache, Joanna Lumley and James D'Arcy.

Cast and crew


Emily Fox Seton
Lydia Wilson
Lord Walderhurst
Linus Roache
Alec Osborn
James D'Arcy
Hasina Haque
Lady Maria Byrne
Joanna Lumley
Souad Faress
Mrs Parke
Maggie Fox
Sarah Ridgeway
Annabelle Rivers
Victoria Ross
Agatha Slade
Lucy Gape
Mr Litton
Malcolm Storry
Mrs Litton
Claire Hackett


Richard Curson Smith
Executive Producer
Kate Brooke
Executive Producer
Stevie Lee
Jo Willett
Kate Brooke