Adapted by Ellen Dryden.
Nancy Carroll stars as Harriette Wilson - one of the most infamous and talked-about women of the early 19th century. Her lovers included aristocrats, adventurers and even the Duke of Wellington, and when they all ceased to support her after her retirement, she had a simple bargain for them - 'pay up, and I'll keep you out of my memoirs'.
A scandalous bestseller of their time, her memoirs reveal a sharp-witted, good-hearted, infinitely adaptable, madcap woman who took on the patriarchy of the time and did something close to beating them at their own game.
Having finally made contact with the mysterious Lord Ponsonby, Harriette finds there are all kinds of obstacles to their blossoming romance - including the small matter of his wife whom everyone agrees is an angel. Harriette's former lovers, the dashing Duke of Argyll and the taciturn but loyal Duke of Wellington, are never far from the picture and are soon joined by a new, passionate young admirer. The Marquis of Worcester is devoted to Harriette as only a 19 year-old can be.
Eventually Harriette is persuaded to reveal all in her memoirs - a course of action which leads Wellington to make one of the most famous remarks in the English Language.
Harriette ...... Nancy Carroll
Ponsonby ....... Charles Edwards
Wellington ....... Barnaby Kay
Argyle ...... Blake Ritson
Fanny ....... Anna Francolini
Amy ....... Abigail Burdess
Matthew Lee ...... Jonathan Dryden Taylor
Poodle Byng/ Doctor/ Beaufort ..... Gus Brown
Porter/ Brougham ....... Jonathan Coote
Leinster ....... Andrew Mudie
Worcester ....... Nigel Thomas
Producer: Ellen Dryden
A First Writes Radio production for BBC Radio 4.