Forced to take a succession of lovers to survive, she slowly rises to respectability but only after enjoying, wholeheartedly, the pursuit of her craft. A vulnerable Fanny is lured to London after losing her parents to smallpox. Seized upon by notorious madam Mrs Brown, Fanny’s virtue is tested by the lascivious Mr Crofts. After a daring escape with her true love, Charles, Fanny briefly basks in happy domesticity. But when Charles’ father the same Mr Crofts meets his son’s fiancee, he banishes Charles to the West Indies and leaves Fanny alone with spiralling debts.