Dorothy Richardson is existing just above the poverty line, doing secretarial work at a dentist’s office and living in a seedy boarding house in Bloomsbury, when she is invited to spend the weekend with a childhood friend, Jane.
Jane has recently married a writer who is on the brink of fame. His name is HG Wells, or Bertie, as they call him. Bertie appears unremarkable at first.
But then Dorothy notices his grey-blue eyes taking her in, openly signalling approval. He tells her he and Jane have an agreement which allows them the freedom to take lovers, although Dorothy can tell her friend would not be happy with that arrangement.
Not wanting to betray Jane, yet unable to draw back Dorothy free-falls into an affair with Bertie. Then a new boarder arrives at the house – beautiful Veronica Leslie-Jones – and Dorothy finds herself caught between Veronica and Bertie.
Amidst the personal dramas and wreckage of a militant suffragette march, Dorothy finds her voice as a writer.
Louisa’s second novel, The Dragon Lady, is also out in paperback on the same day.