The community of South Riding, like the rest of the country, lives in the long shadow of war. Blighted by recession and devastated by the loss, they must also come to terms with significant social change.Forward-thinking and ambitious, Sarah Burton is the embodiment of such change. After the death of her fiancé, she returns home to Yorkshire focused on her career as headmistress of the local school. But not everyone can embrace the new social order. Robert Carne, a force of conservatism, stands firmly against Sarah. A tormented man, he carries a heavy burden that locks him in the past.
As the villagers of South Riding adjust to Sarah's arrival and face the changing world, emotions run high, prejudices are challenged and community spirit is tested.
Anna Maxwell Martin (Bleak House) and David Morrissey lead an outstanding cast in this rich and panoramic portrait of community in turmoil. Winifred Holtby's little-known and hard-to-find literary gem is a magnificent masterpiece, to be joyfully rediscovered by a whole new generation of readers.