Mrs Gareth, widowed chatelaine of Poynton, is fighting to keep her house with its priceless objets d'art from her son Owen and his lovely, utterly philistine fiancee.
When she discovers that her young friend and sympathizer Fleda Vetch is secretly in love with Owen, she thrusts her into the battle-line.
The power struggle that ensues between the three women leaves Owen vacillating.
What is at stake is not the mere possession of tables and chairs; it is, for Fleda, a conflict between aesthetic ideals, ethical imperatives, and her innermost feelings, in which she risks betraying, and being betrayed by, all that she holds most dear.
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