Bath society is transferred to Verdun when Napoleon interns all the civil--civilian--Englishmen then in France along with their wives and marriageable daughters. A lively gathering. Rigid, double-dealing Lord and Lady Warstowe (""not the woman to leave a situation unaltered when she disapproved of it"") with daughters--dopey Lydia and bouncy Charlotte! Long-lost, unconventional French cousin Isabelle! Her dashing brother Cary Vyner, whom Napoleon keeps imprisoning--with the help of assorted genteel villains! Lady Emily Royden, whom Cary once rejected (when they meet again, sparks fly). Cary's cousin Joscelin--a Tolstoyan innocent who goes about disguised as a German groom. And . . . impoverished Mr. Neville, with his eye to the main chance, with his friend Lord Stanbourne--which girl will get them? For this is Jane Austen country, however transposed and diminished, and the questions on everyone's minds are who will marry whom and with what money? A thoroughly civil historical fiction, with more characterization and style than most.