Sally grows up to be an extremely beautiful girl, attracting the attentions of every man who sees her. When her mother dies, her father decides it is just too difficult to defend her virtue and marries her to the first man who proposes. But Jocelyn is about to learn a lesson in marrying for looks alone. The two are from very different classes and have nothing in common: beauty can only bridge the gap so far. Meanwhile, his mother is being pursued by her own unsuitable suitor – debating if she can tolerate his crass personality in return for the security of his wealth. Von Arnim turns her ironic humour to great effect in showing us the follies of her cast of characters, whom we can’t help wishing the best for, despite everything.