Luke Rowan, who had gone to Baslehurst to protect his interests in the Bungall and Tappitt brewery, met Rachel Ray and fell in love with her, to the dismay of Mrs. Tappitt who wished him to marry one of her daughters, and of Rachel’s mother and older sister who did not think him sufficiently pious. Luke’s struggle to win Rachel and to gain the control of the brewery furnish the plot.
"The book lives still because of its delicate little scenes of comedy, the meeting of the lovers, Mrs. Tappitt's ball, the bedroom confidences of the Tappitts, Rachel's talks with her mother." -Walpole
A Trollopian tirade against Evangelical intolerance, the Rev. Mr. Prong and Mrs. Prime substituting for Mr. Slope and Mrs. Proudie. Commissioned by Good Words, but rejected as, unfit for Sunday reading. It is one of the few instances in all Trollope's stories where he makes a worker, in this me a brewer, his hero.