In her fifties Fanny Trollope, mother of the novelist Anthony, became famous overnight for her book attacking the United States.
Now, twenty-five years later, she sharpens her pen for her most controversial work yet: the biography of her old friend Frances Wright, the Scottish radical and feminist.
Back in the 1820s the young Fanny Wright erupted into the Trollopes' sleepy English cottage like a volcano, her talk aflame with utopian ideals.
Before long, Wright had convinced the older woman to follow her to America - a journey of extreme penury, frontier hardships and the most satisfying (and surprising) sensual romance of Fanny Trollope's life.
The 'biography soon degenerates into a settling of scores with Fanny Wright and wild digressions on the misadventures of Mrs Trollope's own family.