Watch Desperate Romantics

A drama series based on the real life adventures of the famous Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Several brilliant and artistic young friends living in 19th Century London find time for love and passion even as they are on the verge of changing the art world. Dante Gabriel Rossetti, William Holman Hunt, John Millais, and their cohorts live their lives in search of passion, adventure, and inspiration. When they meet the stunning redhead Lizzie Siddal she becomes their muse and object of desire.

BBC
1 Season, 6 Episodes
August 4, 2009
Drama
7.6/10
Cast: Samuel Barnett, Sam Crane, Josie Farmiloe, Tom Hollander
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Desperate Romantics Full Episode Guide

  • Rossetti and Lizzie return from their honeymoon ready to settle into conventional married life. However, Millais soon proposes the idea of an artistic colony for the Brotherhood and their wives. Meanwhile, Hunt sets out to win back Annie Miller, hoping to persuade her to move into the colony, and Fred is brutally honest with Lizzie with devastating consequences.

  • Rossetti and Lizzie revel in their new-found status and wealth, acquired courtesy of Ruskin's generous patronage. Swept up in a whirlwind of late-night partying and debauchery, they forget about their art, leaving Ruskin less than impressed.

  • While Hunt is far away in the Holy Land, Fred sets out to fulfil his promise to look after Annie and prevent her from getting up to mischief. But Annie proves too hot to handle: before Fred knows what's what, she has seduced him. Rossetti, meanwhile, receives an encouraging visit from Ruskin who, with Millais no longer on his books, is looking for a new protege.

  • The youngest and most talented member of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, John Millais, delights in having landed the influential John Ruskin as his new patron. However, he soon realises that this patronage comes at a price when it becomes clear that he is expected to sleep with Ruskin's wife. Rossetti only sees the benefits of his friend's predicament but Millais is torn.

  • With the help of their new friend, journalist Fred Walters, the brotherhood have caught the attention of the pre-eminent art critic of the day, John Ruskin, and they now have to persuade him to buy their work. John Millais sets about rustling up a 'masterpiece' to show Ruskin and he chooses Lizzie to sit for it. But their whole world comes crashing to a halt when Lizzie falls ill.

  • Some artists want lasting fame. Some want money. Others want sex. The Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood want all of it. These ambitious young men are out to rock the art world with a style of painting that is, according to them, more true, real and heartfelt than anything seen for three hundred years.

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