This is a delightful take on the popular trope of social inequity in Victorian England. The references to Roman history in Britannia as well as the comments on "Etruscan" vases are lovely to buffs as such. The mystery and the alchemy woven in only adds a delicious somewhat surreal element, though entirely appropriate historically. The relationship between the protagonists is an enlightened one and diverting. At first, I had issues with the intimate relations between the two, but then realized both from a historical point of view and logistics one that it made sense. Perhaps not romantic to contemporary sensibilities, but accurate when reviewed logically.Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and look forward to another.