The early meetings of young Florence Dugdale and the greatest writer in England suggest a growing intimacy.
Thomas Hardy, increasingly dependent upon Florence, engineers a meeting between her and his wife Emma.
Florence finds herself increasingly uncomfortable in the Hardy household.
After Emma's death, they discover her meticulous accounts of his shortcomings.
Having rather unromantically become the second Mrs Thomas Hardy, Florence has to witness Hardy's increasing obsession with writing poems about his dead first wife.
Florence looks after the great writer in his later years, helps him rewrite history and seems relatively content with her lot.