Publisher: The Copyright Group Ltd.
Date: May 2017
Duration: 2 hours 21 minutes
The fictitious landscape of Loamshire provides the setting for this country tragedy, with little peace about the intertwined lives of its inhabitants. Dinah Morris is an earnest Methodist preacher who rejects Seth Bede for a life devoted to God. Adam Bede, his brother, is also rejected, but by Hetty Sorrel, a gullible dairymaid who falls for dashing Arthur Donnithorne, the squire's heir. The passions roused in the community of Hayslope have disastrous consequences: a fight between two rivals, an illegitimate pregnancy and a woman driven to desperate deeds. In Adam Bede George Eliot gripped her readers with an imaginative and complex tale. 1. The Bede Family - A woman preacher - Death of a drunkard. The village of Hayslope is excited by the visit of a female Methodist preacher, Dinah Morris, an attractive, deeply religious young woman. After her sermon she meets Seth Bede, her suitor, but gently rejects his proposal of marriage. Adam, Seth's older brother, is angry to find that his father is off drinking, leaving his work unfinished. Next morning, Adam and Seth find their father lying dead in a brook by the house. 2. Foolishly in Love - Flirting in the dairy. Captain Arthur Donnithorne, grandson and heir to the squire, accompanies the Reverend Irwine to call on the Poysers, local farmers. The Rector questions their niece Dinah about her preaching. Meanwhile, Arthur is more interested in their young dairymaid, Hetty Sorrel. She is strongly interested in him, and soon she can think of no one else ? certainly not of Adam, who is wooing her. Arthur resolves not to see Hetty again but waivers. He meets her by Fir-tree Grove and they are drawn together. That night Hetty admires herself by candlelight, disturbing Dinah, who comes to ask if she is in trouble. 3. An Ill-fated Party - Good resolutions falter - Hopes raised and dashed. Arthur rides to the Rector, meaning to confess his feelings for Hetty. On the way he meets and warmly greets Adam. At the rectory Arthur lacks the courage to say what's on his mind. During a summer party held at the Donnithornes' house, Arthur announces that his grandfather has agreed to employ Adam to manage the woods. Adam's pleasure at his new job is, however, overshadowed by Hetty's behaviour towards him. When he finds that her locket contains someone else's hair, Adam leaves the festivities early. Hetty stays and is swept off her feet when dancing with Arthur. 4. End of an Affair - Fight between rivals - A letter of farewell. Walking by the grove, Adam surprises Arthur and Hetty kissing. Arthur tries to make light of his offence by explaining he had no knowledge of Adam's strong feelings for Hetty. Adam is enraged because Arthur is leading Hetty on. The two men fight and Arthur is knocked out. Adam demands that Arthur write a letter of farewell to Hetty and delivers it to her himself. She takes it to read later. 5. Desperation - Fatal letter - A doomed journey. Alone, Hetty reads Arthur's letter with despairing disbelief. Months pass and Adam is offered a share in a business. Emboldened, he asks Hetty to marry him. To his joy she accepts, but his pleasure is soon marred by her apparent unhappiness. In truth, she is pregnant and almost suicidal. She sets off to look for Arthur at Windsor, where she discovers that his regiment has gone to Ireland. Adam goes in search of her and learns of her misfortune. He grows anxious and seeks out Mr Irwine for his advice about Hetty's whereabouts. 6. Trial and Punishment - Found guilty. Adam discovers that Hetty is in Stoniton Prison, awaiting trial for the murder of her baby. He hastens to Stoniton where he reluctantly attends the trial. The evidence against Hetty mounts and she is found guilty, to be hanged. Arthur, returning home at his grandfather's death, hears the news and at once leaves for Stoniton. Dinah, also informed, visits Hetty in prison and prays with her. Hetty and Dinah set out for the scaffold but Arthur gallops onto the scene waving a reprieve, and Hetty's life is saved. 7. Parting and Discovery - A remorseful soldier - A mother's touch. Meeting again in the woods, Arthur and Adam are reconciled. Arthur says he is going away, but begs Adam to stay. Hetty is deported to Australia for her crime. Eighteen months later, Adam tells Dinah how sorry he is that she will not become his sister-in-law, not realizing that she is attracted to him. She declares that she must go away to preach, but Adam's mother reveals the truth to her son. Amazed but delighted, he decides to propose marriage to Dinah. 8. True Love - Scruples overcome - Reconciliation. After discussing his proposal with his brother Seth, Adam hastens to declare his love to Dinah. She confesses that she loves him too, but says that she cannot marry him due to her preaching. She then leaves to follow her calling. However, when Adam follows her, Dinah accepts him at last. Six years later, a much altered Arthur returns to Hayslope, grieving over the fate of Hetty, who died on her passage home from exile. Arthur is fully reconciled with Adam, who now has two children and is successfully established in his own business.