Clarissa (TV series)

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Not to be confused with Clarissa Explains It All.

Clarissa is a 1991 British period drama television miniseries starring Sean Bean, Saskia Wickham and Lynsey Baxter. It aired on the BBC in three hour-long episodes between 27 November and 11 December 1991. It was based on the 1749 novel Clarissa by Samuel Richardson. It follows a virtuous young woman who is oppressed by her ambitious family and a rake who becomes obsessed with her.

Plot: The virtuous Clarissa (Wickham) inherits a fortune but gives it into the control of her jealous family. When they try to force her into a marriage, she feels forced to run away with Lovelace (Bean), a rake, who wants to seduce her. He lodges her with a madam and her prostitutes. Her reputation ruined, she tries to run away, but is tricked into coming back, ostensibly to marry him and restore her reputation. As the whores hold her down, Lovelace rapes her. He insists he wants to marry her, but she wants no part of him and escapes. Distraught, Clarissa starves herself to death. Lovelace's family reject him and his erstwhile friend kills him for ruining her.

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