Hold the Dream

Hold the Dream is a British two-part miniseries made in 1986, based on the novel of the same name by Barbara Taylor Bradford. It is the second book in the Emma Harte series, following A Woman of Substance. Hold the Dream continues the story of Emma Harte, played by Deborah Kerr, with Jenny Seagrove, who played the young Emma taking over the part of Paula Fairley.

Hold the Dream
Written byBarbara Taylor Bradford (novel)
Directed byDon Sharp
Original language(s)English
Preceded byA Woman of Substance
Followed byTo Be the Best


Paula Fairley, now head of the Harte chain of department stores, has taken on the burden of preserving Emma's legacy. However, she suffers dissent within her extended family, in particular from her devious cousin Jonathan Ainsley.

Her marriage to Jim Fairley is unhappy, leading her into the arms of her childhood sweetheart, Shane O'Neill (Stephen Collins), grandson of Blackie O'Neill (Liam Neeson). Struggling to prove herself in a male dominated world, just like her grandmother before her, Paula suffers heartache and loss that mirror the life of her grandmother. Emma's request that Paula hold her dream is what drives Paula to fight and overcome personal tragedy and come out on top, so as to save the Harte name for the next generation.



The script was written by Barbara Taylor Bradford herself after the producer had been unhappy with a number of other scripts. She had never written a script before.[1]


The New York Times, which had liked A Woman of Substance, called this "dreary" and "will no doubt be useful as a future textbook case on how not to make a sequel."[2]


  1. Novelist Becomes Script Writer in One Hectic Lesson By RACHEL BILLINGTON LONDON. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 26 Oct 1986: 94.
  2. Sequel to 'A Woman of Substance' By JOHN J. O'CONNOR. New York Times (1923-Current file) [New York, N.Y] 27 Oct 1986: C22.
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