Lucy Graham is a twenty-two-year-old children’s governess in the home of a respected Essex surgeon. She seems to have no past, having arrived penniless from London with a single glowing recommendation from an obscure school mistress. Local widower Sir Micheal Audley, the wealthiest man in the county, smitten by her beauty and charm, makes her an offer she can’t refuse. “The truth is that Lady Audley had, in becoming the wife of Sir Micheal, made one of those apparently advantageous matches which are apt to draw upon a woman the envy and hatred of her sex.
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