'The Pursuit of Love' — US release date, plot, cast, trailer, and more

The Pursuit of Love
Lily James leads the cast of The Pursuit of Love, a new romantic period drama. (Image credit: Theodora Films Limited & Moonage Pictures Limited/Robert Viglasky)

The Pursuit of Love is a major new adaptation of the Nancy Mitford classic which boasts an all-star cast including Downton Abbey’s Lily James.

Adapted by Emily Mortimer, the big production has already been screened on the BBC in the UK and is now heading to Amazon Prime Video in the US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

Emily Mortimer says: “I’ve always loved Nancy Mitford so when I was asked to adapt The Pursuit Of Love it was impossible to say no. It’s an outrageously funny and honest story, whose central character — the wild, love-addicted Linda Radlett — still reads as a radical.”

The Pursuit of Love release date

In the UK all three episodes are currently available to watch on BBC iPlayer. In the US, The Pursuit of Love will premiere on Amazon Prime Video on Friday 30 July.

The Pursuit of Love — what’s it about?

Set in Europe between the two World Wars, the romantic comedy-drama follows the adventures of fearless Linda Radlett (Cinderella and Downton star Lily James) and her best friend and cousin Fanny Logan (Emily Beecham).

Obsessed with love and marriage, the pair are on the hunt for their ideal husband. But their friendship is rocked as Fanny decides to go for a steady life while Linda opts to follow her heart. This leads Linda down an increasingly wild path. The Beeb says the show poses “questions about freedom, love and sex and the mystery of the human heart”.

Talking about Linda, Lily James says: “Linda has spark, passion, fire, and curiosity, but doesn't know what to do with it. Her father doesn't let the girls have an education or leave the property. But she follows her heart and tries to find herself through the men she encounters — a communist, a conservative, and a wild European.”

The Pursuit of Love

Lord Merlin tries to talk some sense into Linda in episode one. (Image credit: Theodora Films Limited & Moonage Pictures Limited/Robert Viglasky)

What happened in episode one?

The first installment of The Pursuit of Love saw Linda and Fanny growing up dreaming of meeting their perfect man who will sweep them off their feet in a whirlwind of romance and adventure.

But while Linda, a hopeless romantic, thought of nothing but love, her cousin and best friend, Fanny, was patiently waiting to see where her life would take her.

The pair were desperate to escape Linda's domineering father, Matthew (Dominic West), and the family home... and soon they were seen breaking free thanks to some encouragement from the Radlett family's flamboyant neighbor, Lord Merlin.

Soon Linda found herself getting married to the first man she met, Tony Kroesig... but when she was found hiding in the linen cupboard with Fanny on her wedding day instead of going to her own wedding breakfast, it seems perhaps this isn't the match made in heaven she was hoping it would be.

What happened in episode two?

Episode two saw Linda and Fanny's lives traveling in very different directions. Fanny found herself living a quaint life in the country with her doting Oxford don husband, Alfred, while Linda became the center of the party scene as a society beauty with the eccentric Lord Merlin.

While Fanny was at home striving to be the perfect wife and mother — proving herself to be nothing like her mother "The Bolter", Linda eventually found her second marriage ended in tatters after realizing her husband, Christian was in love with another woman. But, of course, Linda wasn't destined to be alone for long, and soon she met a mysterious Frenchman who rescued her from despair at the train station, and now it looks like Linda is about to be swept off her feet once again...

Who’s in it?

Fanny Logan (Emily Beecham) The Pursuit of Love

Emily Beecham as Fanny Logan.

As well as Lily James and Emily Beecham, other key cast includes The Wire’s Dominic West and Dracula’s Dolly Wells. They play Linda’s parents, Uncle Matthew, and Aunt Sadie Radlett. Also appearing is Sherlock's Andrew Scott as Lord Merlin, the Radlett’s eccentric neighbor, and Emily Mortimer as Fanny’s mother. While Josh star Beattie Edmondson plays Louisa Radlett.

Linda and Fanny’s love interests include Messiah’s Assaad Bouab as Fabrice de Sauveterre, Penny Dreadful’s Shazad Latif as Alfred Wincham, and White House Farm’s Freddie Fox as Tony Kroesig.

Where was it filmed?

The drama was mainly shot around the Bristol and Bath area.

Is there a trailer?

Yes! The trailer runs at just over a minute and gives a fascinating glimpse into what to expect from the series.

It's certainly lavish and dare we say it a little risqué! Yep, judging by this short clip it's the type of show you might be slightly embarrassed to watch with your family!

David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years working for TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer for TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!