Better Than Byron
Margaret Doria Vickers is the quiet yet independent-minded headmistress of a girls' seminary just outside of London. She believes herself to be pleased with her retiring life, until the Byronic owner of the school arrives, bent on taking up residence alongside the boarders in his dusty old quarters. Edgar Thurlow is a man of many mysteries, who disturbs Margaret's peace of mind and sparks gossip among the servants, though in reality, he means only to mollify his memories with gentler moments, withdrawing himself from the artificial London society he so deeply despises.
Even as his bad habits are gradually revealed to the observant headmistress, a strong understanding crystallises between these two social outsiders. Edgar's past proves too strong to compartmentalise, and it distracts and torments him from any present comforts. In the meantime, Margaret's sister Tilly, who is a governess, comes to visit her, which brings back some of Margaret's long neglected memories of a carefree youth. In spite of the exasperations she feels toward Edgar's behaviour, Margaret finds herself seeking him out, and enjoying his unconventional company in the midst of unwanted attentions from old suitors and thoughtless affectations of a naïve younger sibling. She finds him refreshing, and a sort of character out of time that does not appear to fit in anywhere, much like herself.
Perhaps Margaret will be the making of his good character - or perhaps he will mature on his own terms, just as she must do.