The Paston Letters

Dramatised by Vanessa Rosenthal, based on an extraordinary collection of real letters detailing the lives and loves of three women spanning three generations of a medieval family.

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Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
Comments
01A Medieval Household20060619

Agnes arranges the marriage of her son John Paston I to young Margaret.

The women are left very much to their own devices, running a busy household and raising children.

  • agnes paston....Rosemary Leach
  • alice clere....joanne mitchell
  • director Polly Thomas
  • elizabeth brews....Christine Brennan
  • hugh stokes....claude close
  • james gloys....Parvez Qadir
  • joan brews....joanne mitchell
  • john ii....morgan george
  • john iii....daniel abelson
  • john paston....Conrad Nelson
  • kate....gillian kearney
  • margaret....Geraldine James

  • 02Besiege And Ransack20060620

    Margaret tries to deal with a dispute with Lord Wymondham over entitlement to Gresham Manor.

    Besieged by 1,000 of his men, she faces the looting and sacking with courage.

    03Finding A Husband20060621

    Agnes is furious with her daughter Elizabeth, who refuses all choices of suitable husband.

    A fascinating glimpse of what life was like for marriageable daughters at the time.Agnes Paston....Rosemary LeachJohn Paston....Conrad NelsonMargaret....Geraldine JamesHugh Stokes....Claude CloseRichard Scrope....Parvez QadirAlice Clere....Joanne MitchellElizabeth Paston....Christine BrennanDirector Polly Thomas

    04* Dangerous Times20060622

    Sir John Fastolf, a close friend and ally of the Paston family, dies.

    John Paston is named as his heir, but the will is contested.

    John Paston....Conrad NelsonMargaret....Geraldine JamesKate....Gillian KearneyHugh Stokes....Claude CloseWorcestor....Parvez QadirFastolf....Russell DixonDirector Polly Thomas

    05* A Troublesome Son20060623

    Margaret is seriously concerned about her eldest son, who quarrels with both parents.

    Times are hard - litigation over the Fastolf estate continues.

    John Paston is in prison again.John Paston....Conrad NelsonMargaret....Geraldine JamesKate....Gillian KearneyHugh Stokes....Claude CloseRichard Calle....Parvez QadirJohn II....Morgan GeorgeJohn III....Daniel AbelsonDirector Polly Thomas

    06Death Of A Patriarch20060626

    Margaret Paston is under siege from Duke of Suffolk.

    Her husband is released from debtors prison but dies in May 1466, to Margaret's great grief.Agnes Paston....Rosemary LeachJohn Paston....Conrad NelsonMargaret....Geraldine JamesKate....Gillian KearneyHugh Stokes....Claude CloseRichard Calle....Parvez QadirJohn II....Morgan GeorgeJohn III....Daniel AbelsonDirector Polly Thomas

    07Marriage For Love20060627

    There is family uproar over the love match between young Marjorie Paston and Richard Calle, a family servant.

    Marjorie finds her mother's door shut against her forever and the rift never heals.Agnes Paston....Rosemary LeachMargaret....Geraldine JamesKate....Gillian KearneyMarjorie Paston....Christine BrennanRichard Calle....Parvez QadirJohn II....Morgan GeorgeJohn III....Daniel AbelsonDirector Polly Thomas

    08* Money Worries20060628

    John III is badly wounded in the battle of Barnet.

    John II nurses him back to health, bringing the two brothers closer.

    Meanwhile, plague ravages the country.

    09* Fresh Hopes20060629

    The youngest son, John Paston III, falls in love with Joan Brews.

    Complicated negotiations about marriage settlements start between the two families.

    10 LAST* An Enduring Family20060630

    Margaret loses her mother in law and eldest son in the space of three months.

    Grief-stricken, her own health weakens, and on November 4th 1484 Margaret dies.