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The House of Eliott is a British television series produced and broadcast by the BBC in three series between 31 August 1991 – 6 March 1993. The series starred Stella Gonet as Beatrice Eliott and Louise Lombard as Evangeline Eliott, two sisters in 1920s London who establish a dressmaking business and eventually their own haute couture fashion house, Maggie Ollerenshaw as their loyal, but sharp mannered head of workroom Florence Ranby and Aden Gillett as photographer and film maker Jack Maddox. It was created by Jean Marshand Eileen Atkins, who had previously devised Upstairs, Downstairs. The series was written by several writers including Jill Hyem, Peter Buckman, Deborah Cook and Ginnie Hole.

Genres: Drama
Station: BBC One (UK)
Rating: 0/10 from 0 users
Status: Ended
Start: 1991-08-31

The House of Eliott Season 1 Air Dates


S01E01 - Episode One Air Date: 31 August 1991 19:30 -

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In the spring of 1920, Beatrice and Evangeline Elliott are aghast to find that their late father has left them nearly penniless. They had always assumed that their father, a successful physician, was well-off but they learn that he also had a secret life and spent most of his fortune. The immediate problem is financial as they search for work but their father had forced them to live a very sheltered life and they're really not qualified to do much of anything. Through good luck, a new friend introduces them to her brother, Jack Maddox, a well-known society photographer who is in need of a receptionist.


S01E02 - Episode Two Air Date: 07 September 1991 19:30 -

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Bea starts her new job as Jack Maddox's receptionist and immediately makes an impression on his clients with her stylish attire. Evie begins to develop a social conscience when Penelope Maddox exposes her to the poverty of the working class. The sisters face yet another setback when they learn that their late father's financial situation is worse than anyone had imagined. Evie finds a letter addressed to her father and learns not only of his secret life, but shocking news about the family situation. After Jack take them to a party, Bea and Evie start to receive orders for designing clothes.


S01E03 - Episode Three Air Date: 14 September 1991 19:30 -

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Evie finds herself a job as an apprentice seamstress when her aunt Lydia recommends her to her own dressmaker, Mrs. Partini. Evie enjoys her work, even if Mrs. Partini is is a bit difficult. She urges Bea to apply for a job as a designer, but she is reluctant given her commitment to Jack. They are shocked when their father's mistress, Mrs. Pearce tell them she is making a claim against their father's estate. With their deteriorating financial situation, the Elliot sisters are forced to sell their home but their solicitor and cousin, Arthur, is less than honest with them about the details of the sale.


S01E04 - Episode Four Air Date: 21 September 1991 19:30 -

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The Eliott sisters have to face up to more of their father's past when their half-brother Sebastian shows up on their doorstep. Bea is quite skeptical as to his motives, despite his gentlemanly demeanor. Both Evie and Bea are thrilled when out of the blue they receive a call from Mr. Duroque, a well-known couturier, offering them employment. They enjoy working for a major fashion house, despite the low wages and lack of praise for their work, but come to a crossroads when one of the clients asks Evie to design an ensemble for her away from the fashion house. Cousin Arthur seems to be mixed up with some rather shady characters and is involved in the ownership of a nightclub.


S01E05 - Episode Five Air Date: 28 September 1991 19:30 -

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As the new year approaches, the Eliott sisters find themselves working out of their flat on individual orders. Worried that she hasn't heard from their half brother for some months, Evie sets out to find him. She learns something about him but he also surprises her with some unexpected information. She also worries Bea by disappearing for the better part of a day. Cousin Arthur seems to be spending more time at his nightclub. Having decided to open a proper business, Bea is distressed to find that no bank will loan them money. Evie receives a proposal of marriage from an unexpected source.


S01E06 - Episode Six Air Date: 05 October 1991 19:30 -

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In her continuing effort to find money for their new venture, Bea visits Sir Desmond Gillespie, Evie's godfather. A merchant banker, Gillespie agrees to put the Eliott sisters proposal before his Board, but only if Arthur Eliott agrees to act as their guarantor. Arthur isn't predisposed to helping them nor is he prepared to help Sebastian Pearce, who has now admitted that the late Dr. Eliott was not his father. Sebastian gets his revenge however by informing the police of the goings on at Arthur's nightclub. With his case now before the courts, Arthur's difficulties have a direct impact on the dressmaking business when clients begin to cancel their orders. Arthur finally tells Bea and Evie of the money he has invested on their behalf.


S01E07 - Episode Seven Air Date: 12 October 1991 19:30 -

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The House of Eliott is formally launched with a well-attended reception but Penelope Maddox has a bit too much to drink and doesn't hesitate to express her view that it is all a waste, given the poverty that exists all around them. As a prison visitor, she hears a tale of Sir Desmond Gillespie's ruthless business practices and decides to confront him. Bea is concerned with Evie's attraction to Sebastian and the amount of time she is spending with him. An actress orders a series of photos from Jack and a complete wardrobe from the Eliott's; having delivered the goods however, the question is now whether they will get their fees.


S01E08 - Episode Eight Air Date: 19 October 1991 19:30 -

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The business is going well and the Eliotts are enjoying an ever-positive reputation for their innovative designs. A new client in particular, Mrs. White, is giving them both her custom and recommending them to all of her friends and acquaintances. Bea is shocked however when her husband Philip calls to collect her and she realizes just who Mrs. White is married to. Penelope Maddox is at her wits end and is approaching a nervous breakdown in her attempts to help the poor and the homeless. Evie continues to see both Hugo and Sebastian regularly. When Sebastian suggests that she accompany him to Paris for a weekend, Bea flatly refuses to give her permission until Sir Desmond Gillespie comes up with an acceptable solution. The planned trip however results in disaster and heartbreak.


S01E09 - Episode Nine Air Date: 26 October 1991 19:30 -

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The Eliott sisters are at odds over the future direction of their fashion house. While they agree to launch their own designs within 6 months, they cannot agree on the style of clothing that will differentiate them from other couturier. Bea wants to stick to more conservative, traditional designs while Evie is all for trying something new and radical. As well, things are not going well in the sewing room. Tilly seems to be seriously ill with severe headaches and the quality of her work is suffering. Madge has been re-doing much of Tilly's work and is fed up to the point that she is looking for employment elsewhere. Penelope Maddox has worked herself into her sickbed trying to get her mission up and running.


S01E10 - Episode Ten Air Date: 02 November 1991 20:30 -

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The Eliott sisters are still bickering over the direction of their new enterprise. Evie wants to go forward with flair and provocative designs, while Bea feels they should cater to their more conservative clientèle. Their relationship hits a new low when Evie moves out. Jack has a vision for a new film and dreams of being able to produce it. Bea provides him with a solution on the money front but Jack faces other difficulties. Aunt Lydia offers to host a charity ball in her home and puts a great deal of time and effort into its organization only to find that the social stigma of her son's criminal conviction has yet to wear off.


S01E11 - Episode Eleven Air Date: 09 November 1991 20:30 -

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The sisters are working furiously towards finalizing their collection of original works. The growing affection between Bea and Jack is obvious leading him to ask her a very important question. Bea and Evie are thrilled when they meet Victor Stride, a renowned fashion journalist who takes a great interest in their work. The article his magazine publishes, over his own objections, links the House of Eliott to the distasteful activities of their cousin Arthur and threatens the fashion launch. Jack Maddox finds a backer for his film. The Mission founded by Penelope Maddox takes on a new administrator who has her own idea of how things should be run. Penelope agrees to the holding of a charity ball as a fund raiser but then proceeds to berate all those present for attending. Madge crosses the line when she takes on work privately but then uses some of the girls in the sewing room to complete the work. She also learns a lesson in the risks of running her own business.


S01E12 - Episode Twelve Air Date: 16 November 1991 20:30 -

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The sisters forge ahead with ahead their planned show and receive an added boost when Victor Stride makes a public apology. His offer to promote their line in his new magazine is viewed somewhat skeptically, especially by Bea. On their big night, the Eliott's are accused of plagiarizing another designer's work. In their desperation to find out how their designs were stolen, they manage to offend several people close to them. Penelope Maddox is still railing against the establishment but receives an offer to teach in Africa. Jack learns the identity of his film's principal investor. Aunt Lydia plans on visiting her son Arthur in the USA and confides in Sir Desmond Gillespie that she may not return to England.

The House of Eliott Actors

Louise Lombard(Evangeline Eliott)

Stella Gonet(Beatrice Eliott)

Cathy Murphy(Tilly Foss)

Aden Gillett(Jack Maddox)



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