Beautiful Kate Croy may have been left penniless by her relatives, but her bold, ambitious nature ensures she will not succumb meekly to a life of poverty. If the financial circumstances of Merton Densher, the man she is passionately in love with, are not sufficient to secure her future, perhaps her cunning will.
So when Milly Theale arrives in Europe from America, laden with wealth but also gravely ill, Kate sees an opportunity to exploit Milly's vulnerability and devises a plan that will see herself and Merton financially provided for. Her scheming is flawed, though, for it fails to take into account the inconstancies of the human heart.
First published in 1902, this rich and intriguing novel has lost none of its fascination and relevance.