Samantha Morton, Lesley Manville and Jessica Brown Findlay star in brand-new drama series Harlots about the world’s oldest profession. Episode 2 airs on Monday 3 April at 10.00pm on ITV Encore.
In 1763, London is the capital of the world, the most cosmopolitan place on Earth. One in five women in London is making her living selling sex.
In some areas brothels, run by indomitable madams, are to be found on almost every street. The one run by Margaret Wells (Morton) is in a downtrodden area of the capital, but she is making her move upwards, aiming to move her family and her girls and take a new house in the vibrant new area of Soho.
When an old friend arrives in town, Margaret’s hopes for the Soho move rest on whether she can tempt him to invest. But Nathaniel Lennox (Con O’Neill) seems interested in a lot more than Margaret’s business plans. With her days as a harlot long behind her, just how far will Margaret be willing to go? Nancy (Kate Fleetwood)’s discovery of the once famous courtesan Mary Cooper (Amy Dawson) offers Margaret a glorious opportunity to destroy Lydia Quigley (Manville)’s reputation. But hitting back against Lydia is a dangerous manoeuvre, one that threatens to disrupt all her plans with Nathaniel. Justice Cunliffe (Richard McCabe) makes Lydia an intriguing but potentially perilous offer. Is it worth her while?
Harlots Episode 2 (of 8) airs on Monday 3 April 2017 from 10.00pm-11.00pm on ITV Encore.