Julia has no portion, so can look forward to marriage only with an impecunious curate. Life as a governess or companion beckons. When her sister Fanny, with her husband Sir Frederick and their daughters, go to Vienna to visit his grandmother, she seizes the chance to go as governess to her nieces. In Vienna the congress which is to settle the fate of Europe after the Napoleonic wars is gathering. There she meets the attractive Sir Carey Fitzhugh, who has left his young fiance, Angelica, behind in England. He is planning to return for a spring wedding, but becoming concerned at Angelicas infrequent letters. When Fanny sets off for home with some friends, Julia and her maid follow in another, slower coach. But there is an accident to Julias coach in Bavaria. She loses all her belongings and is penniless, a long way from home. How will she resolve her problem and who will help?