The Last Abbess

This 3-episode Historical Mini-Series begins in 1743 where we meet Marie-Louise de Montmorency-Laval and the future Duke de Penthieve as children, his grandfather King Louis X14 and her father a Marechal/Peer of the realm close to Louis XV.  As they grow up together, they fall in love and hope to marry.  Since Marie-Louise is not of royal blood, Penthieve’s mother finds her unsuitable as a spouse and interferes with that plan. Humiliated after having sex with him, she decides to enter a Benedictine convent for a quiet and inconsequential life as a nun. 

While there, she discovers she is pregnant and has a child whom her aunt,  the Abbess,  puts out for adoption.   She eventually accepts that decision and remains a nun, and then being forced to accept a royal appointment as an Abbess herself, of the prestigious Abbey of Montmartre.  Giving up her baby haunts her. Time passes. Her lover, Penthieve comes back into her life years later through his daughter and they resume their love affair.  She finds herself challenged by both her career running a great Abbey and her personal feelings.  Add to that her guilt for allowing her son to be set out for adoption years before and the rise of the French Revolution and its anti-clerical Enlightenment ideas.