Marie Powell is sixteen when her father marries her to the poet John Milton in payment of a debt. They move to a pretty garden-house in London, but she struggles to adjust to her new life. Her husband is high-minded and unyielding, and only makes Marie long for the man she really loves. As Civil War sweeps across England and the King is killed, a battle starts to rage between husband and wife - one that only the powerful can win.
Told through the fictional journals of Milton's wife, Robert Graves's sympathetic and sensitive reconstruction of her tragic life is also a convincing, linguistically rich portrait of seventeenth-century England as it is ravaged by war.