Bramwell follows the fortunes of Dr. Eleanor Bramwell (Jemma Redgrave) in her pursuit of public health and private amours in Victorian-era London. Feisty and unconventional, her sights are set on becoming a leading surgeon, an ambition unheard of for women in Victorian society. Eleanor's father Robert would like his daughter to join him in his respectable private practice, but his daughter has plans of her own which take her from the drawing rooms of the elite to the shocking deprivation of the slums of London's East End.
Bramwell's search for love and professional fulfillment reaches a climax in Series 4. Change is in the air, not just in Eleanor's personal life, but also at her infirmary The Thrift, where a new manager is in charge and hostile to Eleanor's impulsive ways. She becomes the recruiting doctor for the British Army, inspecting new recruits for the just-declared Boer War. her fianc? Dr. Joe Marsham strongly disapproves of his future wife doing such unlady-like work, but her new position wins her the respect of dashing army major Guy Quarrie, who convinces her that Dr. Masham is no fit husband. But Eleanor learns marriage is not what Quarry has in mind when she discovers she is pregnant by him. She becomes obsessed with finding a little girl she has unwittingly consigned to child prostitution after a brothel fire, and her relentless search jeopardizes future funding of The Thrift and drives her to risk everything.