In eighteenth century England, sixteen-year-old Susan Kirke defies her parents and gives up a life of privilege to marry the man she loves. Susan falls in love with the gardener on her father’s estate. John Dean, her Mr. Right is wrong in every way: wrong nationality, a Scot; wrong religion, a Presbyterian; and worst of all, wrong class. When her parents learn of her engagement, they dismiss Dean and arrange a marriage for Susan with her cousin Herbert Fitzwilliam. In preparation for the wedding, the family goes to London, where Susan and Fitzwilliam attend a masquerade at Vauxhall Gardens; she dressed as a boy and he as a woman. While he is surrounded by a coterie of admirers, she escapes to the streets of London to find the man she loves. Dean elopes with Susan to his hometown of Dundee. In Edinburgh, they stop to buy a gown for Susan, and Dean goes to Leith to book passage on a ship. There he is captured by a press gang, and Susan must find the courage to rescue him.