London, 1868. As the Christmas season begins, Claudine Burroughs feels little joy in its endless social calls and extravagant events. Working at a clinic for desperate women has opened her eyes to a different world. Then her two worlds collide. A prostitute smuggled into a grandiose Christmas party is found brutally beaten. Poet Dai Tregarron stands accused. But Dai insists he was trying to protect her from the violence of three young men. Claudine believes him, but with society closing ranks against him, how can she prove his innocence without risking everything?