The Lady of Quality is Miss Annis Wychwood, rich, beautiful, independent, and, at twenty-nine, considered long past marriageable age. She lives in her own house in Bath with an elderly and garrulous cousin, foisted on her by her very correct brother, Sir Geoffrey Wynchwood, to keep tongues from wagging. When Miss Wynchwood agrees to take Lucilla Carlton, an engaging seventeen year-old heiress, under her wing, the arrangement is condemned by almost everyone-her scandalized chaperon, Sir Geoffrey, and Lord Bechenham, her most persistent suitor. The only exception is Lucilla's guardian. Mr. Oliver Carleton, known by all to be the rudest man in London.