Zooals ik ben

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Suddenly left a legacy of 500 pounds, Rachel Higgins, maid-of-all-work in the Palfrey household, desires to become a "lady".

Helped by Madame Recamier, a modiste who pities her, Rachel, perfectly gowned, manicured and versed in the art of deportment, applies to Lady Muriel Tahourdin for instruction but is scornfully told: "You have the soul of a servant and can never have that of a lady." Madame Recamier's mannequin advises her to set her cap at men, because, she says, "men won't worry about a woman's soul if her complexion and dress are right."

Rachel meets Seward Pendyne, younger son of a Cornish baronet, who falls in love with her and whom she subsequently marries without revealing her real name or humble origin. When his father hears of the marriage, he stops Seward's allowance. Rachel and Seward are happy together until a telegramme comes recalling Seward to Pendyne Castle. There he learns that his brother Richard has been thrown from his horse and killed, thus leaving him the heir. Invited to the Castle for the funeral, Rachel's awkwardness does not make a good impression on Sir Richard.

Matters get worse when Lady Muriel arrives and discloses the fact that Rachel was formerly a servant. Horrified at this revelation, Seward believes her to be a mere fortune-hunter. After an unsuccessful attempt at suicide, Rachel determines to set Seward free by providing grounds for a divorce. Turning to Wilfred Palfrey, she asks him to run away with her, but he indignantly rejects this offer. Palfrey writes to Seward telling him that Rachel must care for him very deeply if she is willing to make such a sacrifice. Seward, realizing that love can be mightier than any social barrier, tries to trace her.

Rachel has found a cheap lodging and learns to make hats so that she is able to keep herself, even after her child is born. When her son is three years old, Rachel sends him to his father, feeling that, as heir, the Castle is the boy's rightful home. Impelled by mother-love to try to see the child again, one night she secretly creeps into the nursery where she is discovered by her father-in-law with the boy in her arms, and the soul of a woman shining in her eyes. She is reunited with Seward, who is now glad to accept Rachel "as God made her".


original title
As God Made Her
foreign release title
Como Dios la hizo
production year
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preview date
Netherlands, United Kingdom
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original distributor
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original length


G. Donaldson, Of Joy and Sorrow. A Filmography of Dutch Silent Fiction, Amsterdam (1997), pp. 192-194

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