A portrait of fashionable society at the height of the era, The Edwardians revealed, through the lives of its characters, all that was glamorous about the period - and all that was to lead to its downfall. Sebastian and Viola are brother and sister. Handsome and moody, at nineteen Sebastian is a duke and heir to the vast country estate, Chevron. A deep sense of tradition and love of the English countryside bind him to his inheritance, though he loathes the glittering, cold, extravagant society of which he is a part.
Sixteen-year-old Viola is more independent, an unfashionable beauty who scorns every part of her inheritance - most particularly that of womanhood. In July 1905, Chevron is once again the site of a lavish house party. Among the guests are Lady Roehampton, a great beauty and seductress who will initiate Sebastian in the art of love. But it is the explorer, Anquetil, rough yet humane, who opens for both brother and sister the gateway to another world.