Series 4 Masterpiece Theatre, PBS Broadcasting, USA Episode number: 2 Description A young woman rushed to the Thrift infirmary after an accident is discovered to be a man in drag who is romantically involved with a respected surgical equipment supplier. The tragic unfolding of their relationship opens Eleanor's eyes to a new aspect of human friendship and devotion Original broadcast date - 1999-01-17 Credits Producer: Tim Whitby, Harriet Davison Director: Tim Whitby, Paul Unwim, Kate Cheeseman, Paul Murton, David Tucker
BRAMWELL - Intro by Russell Baker Eleanor Bramwell may be a highly trained doctor, but she is a complete stranger to sex. That's as it should be. She's an Englishwoman of the 1890s. Victorian women were supposed to be ladies, and ladies were supposed to be strangers to sex. It was all nonsense, of course. But in spite of massive evidence to the contrary, we still stereotype the Victorians as paragons of sexual dullness. Actually it wasn't like that at all. Queen Victoria wanted it to be like that, so her loyal subjects did their best to create the illusion that it was like that. It was a time of make-believe. One who refused to play make-believe was the Queen's own son, Edward the Prince of Wales. Edward was famous for his adulteries with the most glamorous women in Europe. The British loved him for it. Many followed his example. Sex of every variety was in the closet, but none of it was closeted as deeply as homosexual love. British society insisted that it could occur only among perverted and godless sinners. And those who were caught out of the closet paid a terrible price. The most celebrated case involved Oscar Wilde's affair with the son of the Marquess of Queensbury. Wilde was arrested, tried, convicted and imprisoned for two years under brutal conditions. Eleanor Bramwell -- we are about to discover -- is no more enlightened about the many forms of love than a Victorian lady is supposed to be.