A BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Elizabeth Gaskell's classic novel of everyday provincial life in the 1820s, ‘Wives and Daughters’, first broadcast in the ‘Woman’s Hour Drama’ slots from 29 November 2010 - 10 December 2010.‘Wives and Daughters’ was written in the 1860s and serialised in the Cornhill Magazine. It is set in the 1820s and deals to a large extent with the position of women in society.
In the seventeenth century, a witch is burned in a stone circle. Three hundred and fifty years later, an investigative journalist arrives at a nearby clinic to have cosmetic surgery - and a week later, she is dead. Dalgliesh and his team, called in to investigate the murder and later a second equally horrific death, find themselves confronted with problems even more complicated than the question of innocence or guilt.
When two men are discovered with their throats cut in the vestry of St Matthew's Church, the police are faced with an intriguing challenge. For one of the victims was ex-Government minister Sir Paul Berowne, the other Harry Mack, a local tramp and alcoholic. For Commander Adam Dalgliesh the case is particularly affecting - he had known Berowne, and the minister had asked for his help regarding an anonymous letter shortly before his resignation.