'The Scandal of the Season is the story of the real-life seduction of the beautiful, clever Arabella Fermor by the charming, enigmatic nobleman Robert Petre, seventh Baron of Ingatestone. Arabella knows that other girls have been ruined by risking an affair like the one she dares to contemplate. The object of her desire, Robert Petre, is also flirting with a Jacobite plot against Queen Anne, and he knows that if his part in the conspiracy is found out he will be hanged.
'A true story, covered up in its day because it threatened to cause a sensation, this was the tale that gave rise to Alexander Pope's bestselling poem The Rape of the Lock, the era's most celebrated satirical entertainment. Watching them all with a beady eye, and taking notes and his part in the story, is an outsider, a cripple, destined to become the genius of his age - the poet Alexander Pope himself. He comes to London from the country, determined to become famous. He knows that if he fails, he will be left destitute. But can he find a story for his next poem powerful enough to make his reputation? Some people take risks because they think they'll beat the odds. Some take risks because they think they're lucky. Some because they love danger. And some do it because they're desperate. This is a story about risk.' (Publisher's blurb)