Melvyn Bragg's highly acclaimed, bestselling historical novel, the story behind one of the 19th century's greatest scandals.
Set in the Lake District at the height of the Romantic age, this is the riveting story of a love affair that led to a nationwide manhunt, captured the public imagination and fascinated both Wordsworth and Coleridge: a story of wealth, title, class and faith - and deception.
It began with the arrival of a stranger in the newly fashionable 'paradise', a man calling himself the Honourable Colonel Alexander Augustus Hope, brother to the Earl of Hopetoun - handsome, charming and evidently open to the prospect of marrying a suitable young lady. Until he met Mary Robinson, the daughter of a local innkeeper renowned far beyond the Lakes as the 'Maid of Buttermere' for her beauty, grace and intelligence, and fell helplessly in love. Their mutual passion seemed at first to surmount all obstacles, but it was to bring unwanted fame and lead to tragedy.