The forthcoming marriage of Venetia, eldest daughter of the Duke of Southport, and 'Beauty' Winchmore is the talk of London society, and a match which has the full support of Venetia's parents. But just weeks before the wedding Venetia cries off - unable to accept that her husband-to-be will forbid her to study medicine. And within weeks of her shameful behaviour her father is dead and she is ostracised from her family, left with a tiny allowance to carry on with the 'cause' and try to qualify as a doctor. Meanwhile at Morland Place George's new wife is whittling away at his fortune during the worst agricultural recession of the century. His sister, Henrietta, apparently safely married off to the Reverend Fortescue, has realised her marriage is a hollow pretence of conjugal bliss and falls heavily in love with a local squire - a passion which seems destined to be unfulfilled. Another wonderful piece of fictionalised history which brings period and place to three-dimensional and colourful life.