Alex Jennings begins reading from Flaubert's novel, set amid the turbulence and glamour of mid-nineteenth century Parisian high society.
Young law student Frederic Moreau meets Mme Arnoux for the first time.
Frederic gets his first taste of political unrest and succeeds in meeting Mme Arnoux again.
Frederic fails his exams and fails to understand the subtleties of society, but his devotion to Mme Arnoux increases.
Despite his ambitions for love and career, Frederic finds it hard not to sink into the provincial comforts of his mother's home.
Frederic gets his first taste of the Parisian 'demi monde' and meets the luscious Rose-Annette for the first time.
Frederic is torn between his love for his friend's wife, Mme Arnoux, and his increasing interest in the charming Rosanette.
Frederic is drawn into the tensions of the Arnoux household and comes to the rescue when the bailiffs threaten them.
A day at the races with Rosanette leaves Frederic compromised and an insult to a lady leads to fighting talk.
Frederic's fortunes go into sharp decline.
Will returning home to Nogent and the girl next door bring him solace?
Revolution is in the air, but Frederic only has eyes for Mme Arnoux.
As the 1848 revolution gathers strength, Frederic and his friend Hussonet find themselves caught up in the melee, and Frederic begins to harbour political ambitions.
Frederic briefly escapes Paris with Rosanette, but news that Dussadier has been wounded draws him back, where he is surprised to find Louise waiting for him.
Despite his efforts to forget Mme Arnoux, Frederic cannot help but fall in love with her again.
Meanwhile, Rosanette has some dramatic news
Frederic is torn between the demands of two women but is still prepared to sacrifice everything for a third, Mme Arnoux.
Frederic sees his amorous ambitions fall apart, but there is one more significant meeting to come.