Summary (Masterplots, Fourth Edition)
All of fashionable London is amazed and shocked when the beautiful and charming Diana Warwick suddenly leaves her husband’s house. The marriage was ill-fated from the start, for Augustus Warwick, a calculating, ambitious politician, considered the marriage to Diana as largely one of convenience. Diana, for her part, accepted his proposal as a refuge from the unwelcome attentions to which her position as an orphan exposed her.
Diana Merion first appears in society at a state ball in Dublin, where her unspoiled charm and beauty attract many admirers. Lady Emma Dunstane introduces Diana to Thomas Redworth, a friend of her husband, Sir Lukin Dunstane. Redworth’s attentions so enrage Mr. Sullivan Smith, a hot-tempered Irishman, that he attempts to provoke the Englishman to a duel. Redworth pacifies the Irishman, however, to avoid compromising Diana by a duel fought on her account.
Later, while visiting Lady Emma at Copsley, the Dunstane country home in England, Diana is forced to rebuff Sir Lukin when he attempts to make love to her. Leaving Copsley, she goes to visit the Warwicks. Thomas tells Lady Emma that he loves Diana, but by then it is too late. Diana has already agreed to marry Augustus Warwick.
In London, the Warwicks live in a large house and entertain lavishly. Among their intimates is Lord Dannisburgh, an elderly peer who becomes Diana’s friend and adviser. While Warwick is away on a government mission, the two are...
(The entire section is 1304 words.)
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