Well, I wouldn't go so far as to call Sir Gerald was an intellectual giant, but rather I'd call him a very ordinary man with scars from being rejected that left him with commitment issues and an intense distrust of women. Prissy is a lady raised to be elegant with a good education, including an appreciation of art, literature, and all the other refinements of the age. When she lost her family and any fortune and was left without a sponsor other than an old governess that had become a madame she took the only job available and was good at it. Sir Gerald knew he wanted her but could not reconcile his problems and her station in life. He did overlook the obvious, that is that she was no ordinary prostitute/mistress but just thought was was good at her job. I must say this is a very readable book, though there were times I wanted to tell Prissy to speak up, but I suppose she knew that wasn't the way to handle Sir Gerald. As the other reviewer said, it is a book that will cry out to be read in one sitting! Good for an all-nighter or a rainy day inside.