Lisa Hilton

The Scandal of the Century

The Scandal of the Century


In 1682, a young woman in the throes of a passionate affair flees her parents’ home in Surrey to seek a new life in London. A scandal in its own right, but this is no ordinary young woman: Lady Henrietta Berkeley is the daughter of one of England’s most powerful men, and her lover is her own sister’s husband...

Inspired by this scandal, Aphra Behn would go on to write Love Letters Between a Nobleman and His Sister, arguably the first novel in English literature. An immediate bestseller, it propelled Behn out of poverty and disgrace, yet she remains an enigma, the facts about her life continually disputed.

In The Scandal of the Century, Lisa Hilton interweaves the story of these two rebellious and ruthless women. Against the backdrop of seventeenth-century England, with its strict traditional conventions of love, duty and identity, she shows just how far these women would go to break free.