Manchester, 1867. Widowed in mysterious circumstances and compelled to marry again by his domineering father Frederick, Brook Ferguson selects as his new bride the beautiful, strong-willed Cordelia. But after she comes to live with Brook and Frederick, as well as their household of eccentric family members, it isn't long before Cordelia is locked in a quiet war of dominance with the elder Ferguson. In the stifling atmosphere of the Ferguson's manor house, petty arguments escalate and any small defiance becomes a grand betrayal, until the tension forces Cordelia out into the world in search of something more.
Which is just when theatre-owner Stephen Crossley, with his quick wit and easy smile, strolls into her life - and Cordelia is forced to make the hardest decision of all: Loyalty... or love?
A passionate romance, shot through with dark humour and melancholy, Cordelia is a modern classic of the Gothic genre from Winston Graham, the bestselling author of Marnie.