Harriet Hume, musical, mystical, and whimsical, is the very essence of femininity. Her beautiful room in a dilapidated Kensington house is the setting for this love story, she herself an extension of the beauty which surrounds her. Here, amidst trees and lilacs, she comes to love Arnold Condorex beyond reason. But Condorex is a man bent on power, and Harriet is a woman with powers of quite another kind. In ruthlessly pursuing his ambition, Harriet – his better self – must be cast aside.