In Regency England, Mrs. Thorne's School for Young Ladies is about to close due to the death of young Clarissa's mother a year ago. This leaves 18-year-old Clarissa Thorne and her three schoolmistress friends no option but to return to the bosoms of their families as despised 'poor relations' - at everyone's beck and call for all their lives.
But Clarissa has just inherited Ashcroft, a large, crumbling estate, and she offers her companions an escape - to run away with her to a life of independence and adventure. They must put the estate to rights with little money and less experience. Can sensible Miss Micklethwaite, aging romantic Miss Appleby, and the beautiful Miss Oriana Petersham escape their fate? To keep the vivacious, impulsive Clarissa in check, they must at least try.
However, their relatives may have other plans.
Meeting the Earl of Grandiston and his companion (a devotee of the divine Oriana) on the road sets hilarious events in motion. Perhaps to adventure the ladies must add romance.
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