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The Women of Selfridges

This week, blogger Amie Simon helps prepare us for the return of Mr. Selfridge with this *very spoiler-filled* post. Read all about it and watch the preview to get ready for Sunday!

(Video available in U.S. only)

Season two of Masterpiece’s Mr. Selfridge premieres Sunday, March 30, at 9pm on KCTS 9. Season one introduced us to master showman and King of London retail Harry Selfridge. While Harry is an intriguing character all on his own, he can’t run his empire all by himself!

To prepare for the return of this rich drama, let’s take a look back at the lives of all the females that surrounded Harry in season one—and see where they might be headed next.

Rose Selfridge
Poor Rose! Harry’s long-suffering wife has put up with a lot: uprooting her life in America and moving to London, raising two girls pretty much on her own while Harry works all hours, and, also, her husband’s wandering … eye. Season one saw Rose at the end of her rope when she discovered Harry’s affair with Ellen Love, and retaliating with a dalliance of her own with handsome painter Roddy Temple. She also fled back to America with her daughters after an embarrassing play! But don’t worry, Rose would never abandon Harry completely—she’ll be back to celebrate the 5th Anniversary of Selfridges in season two.

Lois Selfridge
Harry’s mother has been wracked with guilt about being unable to protect him from his abusive father, and about trying to conceal the truth from Harry about what really happened to him. Last season saw her doing her best to support her son and his family, and we’re sure she’ll continue that trend in season two.

Rosalie Selfridge
After a rocky transition, Harry’s eldest daughter, Rosalie, made her society debut in London with the help of popular socialite Lady Mae Loxley. Rosalie gathered the attention of quite a few suitors, but unfortunately developed a crush on Roddy, her mother’s …. something-something. This can’t be good, right? Do we see a mother-daughter competition over the bohemian artist coming in season two?

Violette Selfridge
The Selfridge’s youngest daughter seems to see everything—and understands it all with the wisdom of someone much older. Violette joined the suffragettes for their equality march in season one, and is poised to continue on her quest towards modern womanhood in season two.

Agnes Towler
Senior Assistant Agnes has bigger aspirations: creating amazing displays just like handsome window dresser Henri LeClair. Agnes fled Selfridges after her father made a drunken scene inside the store, but thankfully Harry begged her to come back. Although restaurant waiter Victor Colleano was pursuing Agnes, Henri eventually stole her heart … but when his old flame showed up to offer him a job in New York, Agnes couldn’t quite commit to loving him. We spied her in the season two preview—returning just in time for the big anniversary celebration. Rumor has it she’ll be in charge of all the floor displays at Selfridges!

Ellen Love
Chorus girl Ellen Love used her theatrical charms to get what she wanted, and what she wanted included a contract at Selfridges to be their poster girl, to claim Harry as her own, and to gather more money and more fame along the way. After a disastrous confrontation with Harry that resulted in him crashing his car and her attempting suicide, she succeeded in driving Rose away from Harry by creating a play that mocked the Selfridges mercilessly. Will she be back in season two to tempt Harry again? Anything’s possible!

Josie Mardle
Miss Mardle is the sensible head of accessories at Selfridges, but season one revealed she was keeping a huge secret: a long-time affair with the Chief of Staff, Mr. Grove! Once Mr. Grove’s wife passed away, Josie was sure he’d come around and bring their relationship out in the open, but instead he traded her in for a younger model. Will Josie let her wrath lose in season two? Or keep quiet, hoping Grove returns to her? We can’t wait to see what happens! [Editor’s note: One may recognize Amanda Abbington, who also portrayed John Watson’s new spy-cum-wife, Mary, in series three of Sherlock.]

Lady Mae Loxley
A woman ahead of her time, Lady Mae doesn’t believe in traditions of any kind. In season one, she invested money in Selfridges, agreed to lend money to Vincent Calleano to open his own restaurant in exchange for …. favors (* ahem * sexy, bedroom favors), led the suffragettes in a riot, and caused all kinds of other trouble with her flirtatious and blunt personality. But when her husband, Lord Loxely, returns in season two, will he curtail her “freedoms”?

Kitty Hawkins
Sales girl Kitty was BFFs with Doris Miller, until the two of them were pitted against each other for a promotion, that is. Season one showed us a Kitty that relied heavily on her looks to get what she wanted, and pined away for a rich husband to rescue her from the boredom of having to work. There’s still time for her to change, though! And she might not have to worry about competing with Doris in season two …

Doris Millar
Timid sales girl Doris tried her best to keep up with Kitty’s schemes in season one, but her kind heart sometimes kept her from playing along. When Kitty saw Ms. Bunting was in need, she offered a helping hand and pleaded with Mr. Grove to help as well—an action that apparently led the new widower to propose to her, instead of Miss Mardle! What the. Will she still be employed at Selfridges in season two as Mrs. Grove? And if so, will she survive the daggers Mardle will be throwing at her?

As if all these women weren’t enough for Harry, season two will see the arrival of Rose’s friend Delphine Day, who’s the owner of a risqué tango club. Plus, new shopgirls Grace and Jesse will step into accessories, and we’re sure Harry will have a new mistress at some point! Maybe even a few … because he just can’t help himself.


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I would like to know if the character Agnes Towler was the real name of
a salesclerk in Selfridge's dept. store.
My maiden name was Towler which is an unusual surname and my Father was
from the Yorkshire area of England although came to Canada as a young boy
when his parents emigrated. Did the real Miss Towler come from
that area?

Ooh! Great question, Barbara! Sadly, the basic research I've done indicates that only the characters of Harry, who founded Selfridges, and his wife Rose, are based on actual people. The rest of the staff seems to be entirely made up! Wish we could help you track down your Miss Towler. Best of luck.

will Selfridge be back? Now that Rose has cancer and Harry said Rose was his driving force (
in so many words) and according to what I read about Selfridge falling apart in real life, will there be more episodes in the future or it ended on the bitter sweet

There is a season 3 scheduled! Reportedly it's going to jump forward again, this time to 1919. It'll be really interesting to see what happens. I can't wait!