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New Margaret Atwood adaptation Alias Grace makes voyeurs of us all

The six-part series is set in the 19th century—but speaks to the role of women in society today

By Lucinda Smyth  

Sarah Gadon in Alias Grace. Photo: Sabrina Lantos/Netflix

During the third episode of Alias Grace, Netflix’s new six-part drama series about 19th century servant girl Grace Marks, there comes a sequence that seems disturbingly contemporary. Grace, the protagonist of the title, lies in bed mutely terrified, as her bedroom doorknob rattles. We hear a man shouting behind the door. “Grace, Grace let me in,” he urges. “Let me in, Grace.” The voice belongs to the son of Grace’s employer—effectively, he is her boss. His tone is threatening yet incredulous, as though…

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