Following the execution of Louis XVI, a Royalist revolt roke out in La Vendée under the leadership of Charles de Lescure and Henri Larochejaquelin, both wealthy landowners in that region. After an initial success in capturing Saumur, the Republican armies invaded the province, sacked and burned the towns and villages and with savage violence destroyed the chateaux of the Royalists. The romance centers on the love of Henri Larochejaquelin and Marie de Lescure, and on the renegade Denot's love for Agatha Larochejaquelin.
"it is the true strain of human sympathy running through the book that makes it memorable ... it was remarkable that a young unkown novelist should be able to produce anything as sturdily honest and undecorated as this." - Walpole