The first part of this two-part mini-series is about the early life of Princess Elizabeth, the daughter of King Henry VIII and later Queen of England in her own right.
Concluding the story of Queen Elizabeth I of England.
Charles Dickens' complex tale of young love, murder, and the quest for a mystery man's identity begins as the wards of the notorious lawsuit Jarndyce and Jarndyce, together with orphan Esther Summerson, come to Bleak House to live with John Jarndyce. Nemo, a destitute copyist in the case, dies — but not before attracting the intense interest of Lady Dedlock and her husband's malevolent lawyer, Tulkinghorn.
Ada and Richard fall in love but can't marry yet because Richard is having trouble finding a career. Lady Dedlock hears of Nemo's death and visits his pauper's grave in disguise; It seems that he was someone who once meant much to her.
Pursuing a cache of love letters purloined by Krook, an alcoholic junk dealer, Tulkinghorn closes in on the true identity of Nemo and his mysterious relationship to Lady Dedlock. Meanwhile, a new mystery emerges in relation to Esther's identity: Is she really an orphan, or is one of her parents still alive?
Disaster strikes in several forms as Esther contracts smallpox, one of the characters bursts into flames, and moneylender Smallweed acquires the love letters once owned by Nemo. As Richard becomes dangerously obsessed with the Jarndyce case, Esther has a fateful meeting with Lady Dedlock.
Having acquired the incriminating love letters from Smallweed, Tulkinghorn tells Lady Dedlock that he knows all about her relationship to Nemo. Recovered from smallpox, though disfigured, Esther is spurned by one suitor but then receives a new and unexpected proposal of marriage.
An old flame reappears in Esther's life. As the seemingly interminable lawsuit finally grinds to a conclusion, changes are in store for the evil Tulkinghorn, for Lady Dedlock, and for the wretched Richard and his secret wife, Ada.
Escaping the dreary wet weather of 1930s England, the eccentric and bohemian Durrell family uproot and ship themselves off to the sun-drenched Greek island of Corfu. The ragtag Durrell family - consisting of 12 year old budding naturalist and intrepid biologist Gerald; acne-infested Margo; gun-loving Leslie; overbearing intellectual Larry; and their sympathetic widowed mother - experience the joys of living a life of freedom and adventure. With the help of larger-than-life taxi driver Spiro, who has something of a soft spot for Mother, the family moves to a succession of different, fantastically colored villas across Corfu. While Gerald explores the glorious landscape, the wildlife it has to offer and befriends the local population; Mother has other ideas. Fearing her son is growing too wild, she is determined that he receive an education. Gerald's moral as well as more conventional education is put in the hands of three very different young men, two of whom are more distracted by Margo's flirtatiousness than by Gerald's zoological enthusiasm.
First of all there's George who loses out to Margot's Turkish boyfriend; and then Peter, a caddish young man who is happy to leave Gerald writing by himself while he pursues Margo at any cost. Of more lasting emotional importance for Gerald, though, is Theodore Stephanides, a biologist and witty raconteur who is young Gerald's link not only to the marine and insect life that Corfu has to offer, but also to its rich cultural beauty. Spending so much time in the garden and fields watching one branch of the animal kingdom in its natural habitat allows Gerald to learn more incisively about the habits of an altogether different species: his family.