A story of courage and independence, The Arranged Marriage focuses on Perpetua Mordaunt, the diffident, shy and plain daughter of the Duke of Staplefield.
It is the duty of all daughters to marry, but even knowing this Perpetua is horrified when she is forced by her father and narcissistic mother into a marriage with a man she hardly knows to save the family fortune and reputation. Trapped, unable to get her confident and beautiful siblings to understand her distress, the only option that appears open to her is to become a governess so after the last words fade from the ceremony, she runs away to Bath.
Here she is directed to The Registry where she hopes to obtain a position. Rejected, desperate, she is rescued by a Mrs Lumley and her beloved daughter, Dora, who wishes for Dora to obtain some town polish. Petty blossoms under the adoring society - but when she sees her husband at a party, she realises not all problems can be run away from.