1843 - The early Victorian era
When Charlotte's father dies she believes herself to be destitute. But a lawyer's letter reveals she is not only a part of the Morland family, but wealthy and a countess in her own right. She is expected to make a great marriage, and with her vivacious cousin Fanny at her side she is launched into her first Season. It is Fanny, the hardened flirt, who loses her heart first, while Charlotte catches the eye of Oliver Fleetwood, the most eligible man in London. But the Season ends in disillusion, and Charlotte turns away from the life of idle amusement in search of something more substantial, though it involves flouting convention.