Margaret Mackenzie, unattractive and colourless at thirty-five, inherited a small fortune at the death of her brother, and for the first time in her drab existence was free to seek some measure of happiness.
To secure this she moved from her gloomy London home to a cheerful apartment in Littlebath where, with an eye on her fortune, she was sought in marriage by the Rev. Jeremiah Maguire, an Evangelical clergyman; by Samuel Rubb, Jr, son of her brother's partner; and by her cousin John Ball, a widower with nine children. She refused them all, but did fall in love with her elderly cousin, and, when it was proved that her fortune was really his, they were married.
Originally titled 'The Modern Griselda,' this is an amusing example of the way Trollope's characters, as they developed in his mind, contrived to write their own story - in this instance quite against his will.