When the novel opens, Meg Eliot is the wealthy, clever, wife of a successful corporate lawyer. Unemployed and childless, she occupies her time with porcelain, highbrow literature and charitable works. However, when tragedy strikes, and her husband is the accidental victim of a botched political assassination in the Far East, Mrs Eliot must rebuild her life in London alone and poor. Her husband, she discovers, has bequeathed her nothing but debts from his irresponsible professional gambling.
Tormented by memories of her mother's incompetence, Mrs Eliot is determined to attain economic security so she trains to become a secretary. Rejected by her former social group, she attempts to salvage friendships that pre-date her years of …
MacKay, Marina. "The Middle Age of Mrs Eliot". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 January 2001
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=159, accessed 22 February 2017.]