In fact and name, a Regency romance, and a most accomplished piece of story telling, with color, passion and high drama. From the gay, gaudy, glamorous world of Whig fashionables, a descendant unearths the story of Clarissa -- Lady Rohan -- who epitomized all the charm of a gracious era and became a legend of the times. Beautiful, affectionate and generous, her innocence made her unequal foil to Hesther, her closest friend and nemesis, who bore her some love but greater hate. At 17, Clarissa is married to the dour Lord Rohan, the ""man in gray"", who finds her youth and beauty tedious and whose indifference is pierced only when Hesther becomes the children's governess and he falls in love with her. Almost simultaneously, Clarissa finds -- and loses -- her first real love; and Hesther stoops to murder. Dramatic entertainment and good!