To Mellyn, at the close of the century, comes Martha, an impoverished gentlewomen, who following the only course open to her is embarking on the career of a governess. But Mellyn, the manor of Contre Mellyn, is an estate of secrets where the ancient stones whisper insinuations to the distraught Martha of seduction, violent death, and jealousy. Even her young charge is afflicted with the passions of Mellyn as she blindly seeks to win the attention of her handsome and aloof father. Overwhelmed by her employer's coldness, staggered by his charm, Martha determines to succeed in her task and bring him to a closer understanding of his brilliant and unhappy child. And Martha does not succeed not only in drawing the two together but in winning for herself the title of Mistress of Mellyn, a title she nearly pays for with her life. This , gothic novel with its labyrinthine mansion, its intimations of ghosts, its whispers of scandal and treachery, is a legitimate descendant of Jane Eyre. Considerably weakened by its determined rationalism, it nevertheless casts a spell with its chill of mystery and its stir of refined but intense romance.