Written in 1834, the last and most psychologically powerful novel by Jane Austen's leading rival. Newly orphaned Helen Stanley is urged to share the home of her childhood friend Lady Cecilia. This charming socialite, however, is withholding secrets and soon Helen is drawn into a web of 'white lies' and evasions that threaten not only her hopes for marriage but her very place in society. A fascinating panorama of Britain's political and intellectual elite in the early 1800s and a gripping romantic drama. Helen was the inspiration for Elizabeth Gaskell's Wives and Daughters.