After the Battle of Waterloo and the subsequent Army of Occupation in France, the Earl of Monthurst returns to his ancestral home in England to find it in a very bad condition. Because labour wast been available during the war, the hall, which dates back to Tudor times, is badly in need of repair. The farms on his extensive estate were untenanted and the fields unplowed. Not only had all the local men been taken by the Army, but a large number had not returned. The villagers faced near starvation and many of the elderly died from want of attention. The earl unwisely brought back with him a French comtesse, who is very beautiful and possessive, and is obviously determined that he should marry her. He had thought that he and the comtesse could arrive quietly and remain unnoticed. However, he finds the vicar’s daughter, the lovely Raina Locke, is determined to make him realise his responsibility toward his people who have suffered so acutely during the war.