Cecilia Holt of Exeter became engaged to Sir Francis Geraldine, but soon discovered her mistake and jilted him. A year later in Rome, she fell in love with George Western and promised to marry him. He confided to her the story of a previous engagement, but her own experience had been so nearly identical, and his bitterness so great against a girl who would jilt a lover, that she could not return his confidence.
Even after their marriage the occasion did not arise when she could speak of it without seeming to give the matter undue importance. Sir Francis and a meddling gossip of Exeter contrived to make this earlier engagement of Cecilia’s known to her husband, and he was furiously angry at having been kept in the dark. He brooded over his wife’s duplicity until he lost all sense of proportion and finally deserted her. She returned to her old home in Exeter, too proud to plead for forgiveness and feeling she had not been at fault. In this she was supported by her sister-in-law Lady Grant, who was devoted to her brother, understood his nature and was able to bring about a reconciliation.
"It is a study of a morbid obsession.... Nevertheless it reads agreeably and ranks among the brief studies in individual psychology ... as a book which must he read to be realized, and which, when read, will be found to offer genuine, if conventional, Trollope to such as seek him." - Sadleir