Plot


Part One: Homecoming

It is April 1865 in New England at the Mannon estate. The family’s gardner, Seth Beckwith, enters with his friend Amos Ames, Amos’ wife Louisa, and Louisa’s cousin Minnie. He’s been given permission (by Lavinia) to give the visitors a tour of the house, but they have to stay out of sight of Christine Mannon, the lady of the house, who has just returned from New York. When Lavinia appears, Seth has a brief conversation with her, as he is curious about Captain Adam Brant, a gentleman who has been visiting the house. But before he can say much, Peter Niles and his sister Hazel arrive, and Seth promises to continue the conversation later. Hazel asks about Lavinia’s brother Orin, and if he might still love her; Lavinia sternly responds that she hates love. At this, Hazel slips away, leaving Peter and Lavinia alone. Peter expresses his desire to marry Lavinia, at which she scoffs. Just then, Christine arrives and Peter awkwardly leaves. This first conversation between

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