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In 1847, seventeen-year-old Miss Ellen Palmer had the world at her feet. A debutante at the start of her first London season, Ellen was beautiful, rich and accomplished and about to experience the world of dances, opera visits and dinner parties which were a rite-of-passage for young women of her class. To record the glittering whirl of activity, Ellen started writing a diary, a unique daily account which was discovered over a century later by her descendants. For Ellen, the path to true love did not run smooth - after a scandalous encounter with a duplicitous Swedish count, her marriage prospects were dealt a heavy blow. But Ellen was a woman ahead of her time. Undeterred by her increasing social isolation, she set off on a treacherous trip across Europe in pursuit of her beloved brother Roger, an officer in the Crimean War.

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