St. Ronan’s Well is a spa at Innerleithen, a town close to Peebles in the south of Scotland.
In this novel is presented a rivalry between two men, two half-brothers, Valentine Bulmer and Francis Tyrrel. Both of them want to marry the young and beautiful Miss Clara Mowbray, the sister of the laird of St. Ronan’s. Valentine, wanting to make the things worse between his father and Francis, encourages Francis to be with Clara. But, after he discovers that the marriage with Clara would bring fortune and that he would earn his father’s favor, Valentine disguises as his half-brother and marries Clara.
When Francis finds out about this, the brothers quarrel and he spares Valentine’s life on the terms that he leaves St. Ronan’s Well and allows Clara to live under her maiden name. And, so he does.
When their father dies, Valentine inherits the title, but soon he loses all wealth due to his recklessness. But, then he discovers that he will become rich again if Clara accepts him as her husband. So, he returns to St. Ronan’s Well and starts pursuing Clara, convincing her to acknowledges their marriage.
It is a story with moral value which teaches and shows that being rich, doesn’t mean being happy.