The Pursuit of Love: Everything you need to know about Lily James period drama

From lavish filming locations to the star-studded cast, here’s your guide to the new Sunday night series

Ellie Harrison
Monday 10 May 2021 15:51
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The Pursuit of Love trailer

Now that Line of Duty is over and the identity of H has finally been revealed, there’s a new drama taking over Sunday nights: The Pursuit of Love.

The adaptation of Nancy Mitford’s breakthrough novel debuted on Sunday 9 May, dividing viewers who described it both as “incredibly tedious” and “sublime”.

Here’s everything you need to know about the period drama…

What is it about and who’s in the cast?

Emily Beecham stars as the narrator and protagonist, Fanny Logan, a bookish young woman taken under the wing of her uncle Matthew Radlett (Dominic West) after her mother, “The Bolter”, abandons her as a baby.

Fanny’s best friend is her cousin Linda Radlett (Lily James), Matthew’s daughter, whose head is filled with nothing but romantic fantasies.

Andrew Scott plays Lord Merlin, the Radletts’ eccentric, libertine neighbour who Linda is fascinated by.

Freddie Fox, meanwhile, stars as one of the Bright Young Things who Lord Merlin hangs out with. His character Tony Kroesig is a central-casting young Bullingdon chin who is obviously bad news – but who manages to woo young Linda.

Dolly Wells stars as Linda’s mother Sadie and Beattie Edmondson as her sister Louisa, while Assaad Bouab (Call My Agent!) and Shazad Latif play Linda and Fanny’s various suitors.

Where is it filmed?

The Pursuit of Love cast

The period drama is bursting with beautiful country estates, stately homes and university quads.

Most of the filming took place on location in the Bristol and Bath area, and on set at the nearby Bottle Yard Studios. Some scenes were also shot in Paris.

One of the key locations in The Pursuit of Love is the Radletts’ country estate at Alconleigh. The Alconleigh we see on screen is a combination of specially-built sets and different country houses, from Dyrham Park in Bath to Rousham House in Oxfordshire.

The exteriors of Lord Merlin’s estate, Merlinford, were created with the help of Badminton House in Gloucestershire and the Dyrham Park gardens.

Due to Covid restrictions, Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire stood in for Christ Church College at the University of Oxford.

Dinton Park, Phillips House and Stourhead House were also used to film the drama, as well as the “Gardener’s Cottage” at Ston Easton Park.

Who is it made by?

The series is written and directed by Emily Mortimer, who also stars as The Bolter. Her previous on-screen credits include Don’t Look Deeper, Relic, Mary Poppins Returns, The Party and The Sense of an Ending.

When does it air?

The Pursuit of Love airs on Sunday nights at 9pm on BBC One.

Read our review of episode one here.

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