The story revolves Angelica Fanshawe (who is fictitious) in the years 1623 when she is born until the restoration of Charles II. When Angelica is small, her mother who is Catholic decides to go to France to become a nun, leaving Angelica to the care of her cousin's family. As the boat is leaving, Angelica declares that she no longer believes in God, and she sees the Devil standing on a branch of a tree. When she is sixteen, she marries her cousin Henry who is the heir to Fanshawe manor. On her wedding day, Elizabeth Lilburne begs her to ask the King to pardon her husband John Lilburne who is being flogged within an inch of his life for his radical views. Angelica declines to intervene.
Her marriage to her cousin Harry is not smooth. Angelica has opinions which her husband does not like, and he treats her coldly for being enthusiastic in the marriage bed. When the Civil War breaks out, Harry offers his manor up to the enemy without a fight which leads to the King ordering his death by firing squad. This leaves Angelica feeling betrayed by the King, and disenchanted with the royalist cause. After her husband's death, she is left penniless and alone. She is taken in by a merchant who buys her dinner but wants sex in exchange. Angelica threatens him and when he doesn't take her warning seriously, she stabs him to death, leading his friend Jollife seeking revenge for his death. Sexby rescues her from being attacked in the woods.
She becomes involved with Thomas Rainsborough when the Roundheads occupy her families manor house, and they fall in love and are married. Unfortunately Rainsborough is assassinated leaving Angelica a widow for the second time. A friend, Edward Sexby offers to marry her, although Angelica no longer wants to be married. She wants her freedom. However there is a war on and marriage will protect her as she goes back to live at the manor house which has no been given to the Dissenters.
Sexby is in love with her but she tells him that she will never love him. She gets involved with another one of the dissenters who is actually being paid by Jollife to get Angelica arrested for indecency and promiscuity. Sexby again rescues her and this time she is willing to allow herself to love him. Unfortunately Sexby has been disallusioned by his good friend Cromwell who he suspects of ordering the death of Rainsborough. He was also disgusted by Cromwell's actions in Ireland and the idea that Cromwell might become King. He decides to take matters into his own hands and assassinate Cromwell, however he is betrayed and commits suicide when he realizes his plan has been foiled.
The miniseries ends with Angelica giving birth to Sexby's daughter and living to see the restoration of Charles II.
The Devil's Whore is sub-titled the 'true adventures of Angelica Fanshawe.' However Angelica is fictional although the majority of characters in the miniseries that she mixes with are not. My biggest problem with this story is that she marries real life historical characters. This may sound hypocritical. I have no problem with fictional characters sleeping with historical figures known to be particularly promiscuous such as Charles II, Byron, Edward VII, George IV, Alexandre Dumas, etc. But having fictional characters marry real life historical characters is going to far.
The other big problem is even though the miniseries is called The Devil's Whore, there is nothing particularly outrageous or scandalous about Angelica. She's actually quite boring compared to the real life historical figures she mixes with. Elizabeth Lilburne, who spent her life helping her husband John Lilburne with his causes, and who fought like a demon to have him set free during his imprisonment, is a more interesting figure than Angelica. Angelica seems to have no opinions of her own, she takes on the opinions of the men that she's involved with. Compared to real life women Brilliana Harley who defended her home Brampton Bryan Castle for seven weeks against the Royalist, Angelica really does nothing much of note during the miniseries.
One of the writers Martine Brant is married to a man who is descended from Lady Anne Fanshawe, the wife of King Charles I's Chancellor, who wrote a diary about this period. I would rather the miniseries be based on one the actual women who lived during the Civil War than this hodge podge that was created. When Peter Flannery was asked if he was worried that people will take their history from the miniseries, he was quoted as saying that people don't take Gone with the Wind as fact about the American Civil War, which is true but at least Margaret Mitchell didn't have Scarlett O'Hara involved with Stonewall Jackson or Robert E. Lee.
The saving grace of the miniseries was that it was set during the English Civil War which is a neglected period in English history. I found the men in the series to be the most compelling characters, particularly Cromwell, who fought so hard against the royalists, only to end up not having achieving what he set out to accomplish when he becomes Lord Protector of England, in defacto King but without the title.
Unfortunatley I don't know when or if this miniseries will ever be available in America. If you are lucky enough to find it on You Tube, I would watch it simply for the story of the English Civil War.