This, by a novelist of the early 19th century, re-introduces a ""forgotten rival to Jane Austen"" and in her manner revives a world of former and high fashion, the contretemps and connivances, the niceties of phrase and the malice of intent, and alliances -- and mesalliances- of an earlier English society. Specifically this follows the stories of the daughters of Lady Eskdale and her neighbor, Mrs. Douglas, that neighbor whose constant, uncharitable criticism of Lady Eskdale and her daughters was provoked by her envy of their fairer faces and higher fortunes. In particular it is the story of Helen, third of the daughters, who makes the marriage of the season, and who fails to hold the rich Lord Teviot, who is quarrelsome and temperamental. But eventually, they patch things up -- and Mrs. Douglas' daughters engage in matrimony and all is well... There's wit and gentle, genteel comedy, for those who are partisans of inimitable Jane.