In the narrow circumstance of Edwardian society, a young man returns from an unpopular war, and is torn between an expected engagement to his childhood sweetheart; damaged by unseen impedements and his misunderstood war trauma, and the love of his nurse.
The year is 1902, and a Captain in the Mounted Infantry, Frederick Anthony Ainsworth, has recently returned from action in the second Boer War to his home town of Clitheroe, Lancashire.
Having survived the battle of Diamond Hill, "Freddie", as his familiars call him, is not quite adjusted to life back in the world of his youth, and now suffers from a malaise that we contemporarily term "Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder".
Stemming from substantial means, his arrival has been eagerly expected by members of his family, its servants, and his well-to-do fiancée - Felicity Emiline Bold, with the expectation that he and she would resume their courtship upon his return, and wed soon after.
However, all communication between the two has ceased.
Nonetheless, the parents of both, prod them to overlook these apparent changes in attitudes in the name of honoring the arrangement the families have orchestrated.
Enter Arabella Valentine - a charmingly vivacious young woman, who serves as a nurse in a local clinic. They are immediately drawn to one another. Arabella seems to understand, and is sympathetic to, Freddie's condition, and quickly brings him out of his shell, albeit with some misfires.
In the meantime, Freddie is expected to get back to work managing his family's mill under the strong hand of his rather dictatorial father, retired Colonel, Edmund Francis Ainsworth. Part-and-parcel of his business dealings, Felicity's other erstwhile suitor, Carson Bainbridge, too seeks to undermine their reunion, in tandem to an unknown agent within the Bold family itself, who plots to derail the romance, along with the business interests of both families.
With class, obligation and the social restraints of the period weighing on his head, Freddie's relationship with Arabella marches toward implosion, much to the longing chagrin of his weeping soul.
In the end, the pair encounter one another years later, re-visiting the pain of their un-requited relationship once more. A true Edwardian tragic ending.