Adapted from the 1897 novel by Henry James, this four-part British miniseries was set in motion by the death of Mr. Gereth, lord and master of the English estate of Poynton Park. The "spoils" referred to the valuable art works and furnishings housed within Poynton, and which proved to be a bone of contention between the widowed Mrs. Gereth and her son Owen. When not arguing over the late Mr. Gereth's legacy, the two protagonists sparred over Owen's choice in women, with Mrs. Gereth insisting that her son choose a woman from his own social strata rather than marry "beneath his station"; that is, to marry for love instead of money. First broadcast by the BBC in 1970, The Spoils of Poynton was shown in the U.S. as part of Masterpiece Theatre beginning April 4, 1971.
Mrs Gereth returns all the best furniture to Poynton, just before Owen and Mona get married, and they go abroad on their honeymoon. Owen writes to Fleda, inviting her to choose one item from the house for herself. She goes to Poynton, but what she finds upon arrival is tragic, and the fate of the Spoils of Poynton is forever settled.