1836. Fanny Appleton, privileged daughter of a wealthy, upper-class Boston industrialist, is touring Europe with her family. She enjoys the fine clothes, food, and company of the elite social circles-- but is also drawn to education, literature, and more intellectual pursuits. Published author and poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow is also touring Europe. Recently widowed, he is gathering research for a new publication that he hopes will secure his professorship at Harvard College. He sees in Fanny a kindred spirit, a lover of language and literature and high ideals. Can such a relationship ever thrive?