The time and place is Bath in the last years of the Regency -- a setting Georgette Heyer has made peculiarly her own.
In Lady of Quality she limns the social rounds of Bath -- the dances, the teas, the mornings in the Pump Room -- more convincingly and delightfully than ever.
The lady of quality is Miss Annis Wychwood, rich, beautiful, independent, and, at twenty-nine, considered long past marriageable age. She lives in her own house in Bath with an elderly and garrulous cousin, foisted on her by her very correct brother, Sir Geoffrey Wychwood, to keep tongues from wagging.
When Miss wychwood agrees to take Lucilla Carleton, an engaging seventeen-year-old heiress, under her wing, the arrangement is condemned by almost everyone -- her scandalized chaperon, Sir Geoffrey, and Lord Beckenham, her most persistent suitor. The only exception is Lucilla's guardian, Mr. Oliver Carleton, known by all to be the rudest man in London.