Orphan Abigail is surprised to be claimed as a relative of Mr and Mrs Heltham, a well-to-do couple from Bath. The Helthams invite Abigail to leave school and join them for the Little Season in Bath. In Bath Abigail meets Richard, the Helthams’ son, who acts more like a young child than his 19 years. Uncle Frank and Aunt Caro press gifts and treats upon Abigail who finds their generosity oppressive. Although a bluestocking Abigail is able to help poor Richard when he is unable to cope with the trials of life, giving the boy love and affection. It is not until Abigail meets Richard’s cousin, Renn, Baron Chisterley, that Abigail becomes aware of the insidious plot that stands between her and happiness.