Drama set in Dickensian London adapted from the novel by Sarah Waters. Conman Richard Rivers enlists the help of petty thief, Sue Trinder in his plot to rob a wealthy heiress.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Fingersmith - Fingersmith (novel) - Netflix
Fingersmith is a 2002 historical crime novel set in Victorian era Britain by Sarah Waters.
Fingersmith - Part two - Netflix
In the second part of the novel, Maud takes over the narrative. She describes her early life being raised by the nurses in the mental asylum where her mother died, and the sudden appearance of her uncle, who arrives when she is eleven to take her to Briar to be his secretary. Her induction into his rigid way of life is brutal; Maud is made to wear gloves constantly to preserve the surfaces of the books she is working on, and is denied food when she tires of labouring with her uncle in his library. Distressed, and missing her previous home, Maud begins to demonstrate sadistic tendencies, biting and kicking her maid, Agnes, and her abusive carer, Mrs Stiles. She harbours a deep resentment toward her mother for abandoning her, and starts holding her mother's locket every night, and whispering to it how much she hates her. Shockingly, Maud reveals that her uncle's work is not to compile a dictionary, but to assemble a bibliography of literary pornography, for the reference of future generations. In his own words, Christopher Lilly is a 'curator of poisons.' He introduces Maud to the keeping of the books—indexing them and such—when she is barely twelve, and deadens her reactions to the shocking material. As she grows older, Maud reads the material aloud for the appreciation of her uncle's colleagues. On one occasion, when asked by one of them how she can stand to curate such things, Maud answers, “I was bred to the task, as servants are.” She has resigned herself to a life serving her uncle's obscure ambition when Richard Rivers arrives at Briar. He reveals to her a plan to help her escape her exile in Briar, a plan involving the deception of a commonplace girl who will believe she has been sent to Briar to trick Maud out of her inheritance. After initial hesitation, Maud agrees to the plan and receives her new maid, Sue, weeks later, pretending to know nothing about the plot. Maud falls in love with Sue over time and, like Sue, begins to question whether she will be able to carry out Gentleman's plot as planned. Though overcome with guilt, Maud does, and travels with Gentleman to London after committing Sue to the asylum, claiming to the doctors that Sue was the mad Mrs Maud Rivers who believed she was her own maid. Instead of taking Maud to a house in Chelsea, as he had promised, Gentleman takes her to Mrs Sucksby in the Borough. It was, it turns out, Gentleman's plan to bring her here all along; and, Mrs Sucksby, who had orchestrated the entire plan, reveals to a stunned Maud that Marianne Lilly, had come to Lant Street seventeen years earlier, pregnant and alone. When Marianne discovered her cruel father and brother had found her, she begged Mrs Sucksby to take her newborn child and give her one of her 'farmed' infants to take its place. Sue, it turns out, was Marianne Lilly's true daughter, and Maud one of the many orphaned infants who had been placed on Mrs Sucksby's care after being abandoned. Marianne revises her will on the night of the switch, entitling each of the two girls to half of Marianne Lilly's fortune. By having Sue committed, Mrs Sucksby could intercept one share; by keeping Maud a prisoner, she could take the other half. She had planned the switch of the two girls for seventeen years, and enlisted the help of Gentleman to bring Maud to her in the weeks before Sue's eighteenth birthday, when she would become legally entitled to the money. By setting Sue up as the 'mad Mrs. Rivers', Gentleman could, by law, claim her fortune for himself. Alone and friendless, Maud has no choice but to remain a prisoner at Lant Street. She makes one attempt to escape to the home of one of her uncle's friends, Mr Hawtrey, but he turns her away, appalled at the scandal that she has fallen into, and eager to preserve his own reputation. Maud returns to Lant Street and finally submits to the care of Mrs Sucksby. It is then that Mrs. Sucksby reveals to her that Maud was not an orphan that she took into her care, as she and Gentleman had told her, but Mrs Sucksby's own daughter.
Fingersmith - References - Netflix