Margareet Barker loves Steven Wilmott, a medical student and her father's protégé. Before Mr Barker dies of heart-failure, he makes Steven promise to take care of his penniless daughter. Steven gets her a job as domestic help to the janitor's wife, but, unaccustomed to work, the girl is soon dismissed. To keep his promise, Steven marries Margareet. Poverty forces the couple to live in an attic, where their child is born. On the day of Steven's final examination, the sickly child dies. Coming home, he finds that his wife, in a severe state of shock, has been taken to a mental hospital where her condition is considered incurable. Steven accepts the leadership of an expedition to South America to work in the field of bacteriology.

A year later, Margareet, unexpectedly cured, is discharged from the hospital and finds work as lady-companion to Mrs Miles, whose architect son pursues her with his unwanted attentions. Because of engine trouble, the ship on which Steven is returning to Europe drifts for a long time but finally reaches the harbour. In his hotel Steven meets Eileen Mason, the daughter of a rich American, and the two young people are mutually attracted. When Steven is called to report the results of his expedition, he has not yet told Eileen that he is married, nor is he aware of his wife's recovery. Steven, when he finds Margareet, is joyously received by her, much to the annoyance of young Miles. Eileen persuades her father to set up an institute where Steven can continue his scientific work and arranges a conference to be attended by her father, Steven and an architect.

Before the meeting, Steven tells Eileen the truth. Miles insists that Steven must get a divorce. Wanting Steven to be happy, Margareet agrees, saying that she already "belongs" to Miles. Hearing this, Steven attacks Miles. In the ensuing struggle, Steven falls and is seriously wounded. He sickens and in his delirium calls for Eileen. Margareet now understands that she is not wanted by Steven and makes a woman's supreme sacrifice, that of giving up the man she loves. Scornfully she leaves Miles, who thought she now really was his, and goes to work as a nurse. Her farewell letter to Steven and Eileen makes it clear to them what she has done.


original title
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Het offer van Margareet Barker
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Technical notations

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Black & White


G. Donaldson, Of Joy and Sorrow. A Filmography of Dutch Silent Fiction, Amsterdam (1997), p. 150
R. Bishoff, Hollywood in Holland, Amsterdam (1988), p. 125
De Bioscoop-Courant No. 42, 7 juli 1916, p. 3, p. 5
Algemeen Handelsblad, 22 juni 1916
De Kinematograaf No. 180, 30 juni 1916, pp. 2397-2398

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