Cousin Bette is in her mid-forties, unmarried, and earns her living by doing gold embroidery work. Bette has always resented the way in which she has been treated by the rest of her prosperous family, who have left her to support herself, and salve their consciences about their "country cousin" by inviting her to dine once a week. Bette's niece Hortense engineers a meeting with Bette's artist protege, Steinbock. When Hortense becomes engaged to Steinbock without telling her cousin anything, the spinster's fury knows no bounds and Bette wants revenge... Margaret Tyzack starred as the title character along with Helen Mirren and Colin Baker. The series aired in the United States as an installment of Masterpiece Theatre in 1972.