It is 1936 and Spain is on the brink of civil war. Across Europe, young men are enlisting in the International Brigade to free their Spanish brethren from the grip of fascism, leaving sisters and lovers at home. But not all women are content to be left behind. In Britain, Charlotte McBain and Libby Forbes, friends from opposite sides of the class divide, are determined to do what they can; in Spain, Rosita García Díaz, fiercely loyal to her family and country, cannot stand by and watch.
"Amazing Strength "
After her mother's suicide, Abbie Myers returns home to the Lake District with her young child - and no wedding ring. Estranged from her turbulent family for many years, Abbie is heartbroken when she hears that they blame her for this tragedy. Determined to uncover her mother's past, Abbie approaches her beloved grandmother, Millie, in search of answers. The old woman reveals the story of how she travelled to Russia in 1911 as a young governess and became caught up in the revolution.
1905. Rosie Belsfield feels as if her life has ended when she is rejected from Ellis Island and put back on the next boat back to England. But fate gives her a second chance when she befriends Lady Rosalind, a pregnant widow on her way to the home of her late husband's father, the wealthy Sir Ralph Tregowan. Having boarded the ship with one identity, fate decrees that Rosie leave it with another.... As Rosie arrives in Cornwall as 'Rosalind', she must fend for herself amongst a new and bitterly resentful family.
San Francisco, 1904. Georgia Briscoe is in love with British sailor Ellis Cowper but unwillingly betrothed to businessman Drew Kemp. He has the charm to dazzle everyone around him but once married his charm is only skin-deep, when his penchant for gambling and other women comes to light. Georgia plans to escape to be with the man she loves but Drew has other ideas. And then comes the earthquake....
Henriette d'Entragues isn't satisfied with simply being mistress of Henry IV of France, she wants a crown too. Despite his promises to marry her, the King is obliged by political necessity to ally himself with Marie de Medici, an Italian princess who will bring riches to the treasury. But Henriette isn't one for giving up easily. She has a written promise of marriage which she intends to use to declare the royal marriage illegal. All she has to do to achieve her ambition is to give Henry a son.
A beautiful and talented actress, Mary Robinson was one of the most famous women of her time. But Mary was destined always to be betrayed by the men she loved: by her father, who abandoned his family; by her husband, who bankrupted the family with his gambling and humiliated his young wife with numerous affairs; and by the Prince of Wales, later King George IV, who fell in love with Mary when he saw her playing Perdita in A Winter's Tale.
Growing up in a poverty-stricken, fatherless household, Dorothy Jordan overcame her humble beginnings to become the most famous comic actress of her day. Beginning her career on the Dublin stage, she moved on to the playhouses of Leeds and York before achieving fame performing at Sheridan's famous theatre on Drury Lane. It was there that Dorothy caught the eye of the Duke of Clarence, later to become King William IV.
Brenda Stuart returns to her late husband's home devastated by his loss only to find herself accused of bestowing favours upon the Germans. Life has been difficult for her over the war, having been held in an internment camp in France simply because of her nationality. Thankful that her son at least was safe in the care of his grandmother, she now finds that she has lost him, too, and her life is in turmoil. Prue, her beloved sister-in-law, is also a war widow but has now fallen in love with an Italian POW.