The Fleece Inn stood where the three roads joined - the roads to London, to Norwich and to the sea. Its trade was prosperous, its hospitality famous and the host was jolly and generous.
To his servants he was cruel and menacing, and to Ellie Roon, the most menial servant at the Fleece, he was a figure of terror. Ellie was used to being bullied, but when her illegitimate daughter was born - in a rat-ridden attic of the Fleece - she decided that Hester must have a different kind of life.
And so, Hester Roon began her eventful progress in the harsh world of 18th century England. After fleeing from the inn, and the attentions of the owner, she became involved in the London underworld. From there she found herself in a world far beyond her imaginings . . .