When the married Isabella Robinson was introduced to the dashing Edward Lane at a party in 1850, she was utterly enchanted.
He was 'fascinating', she told her diary, before chastising herself for being so susceptible to a man's charms.
But a wish had taken hold of her, and she was to find it hard to shake... In one of the most notorious divorce cases of the nineteenth century, Isabella Robinson's scandalous secrets were exposed to the world.
Kate Summerscale brings vividly to life a frustrated Victorian wife's longing for passion and learning, companionship and love, in a society clinging to rigid ideas about marriage and female sexuality.