Rejected by her partner Vere Hobart in Sussex, the worldly Anne Lister returns to Yorkshire and her family's ancestral home, Shibden Hall. After discovering her land is rich in coal, Anne takes over the management of the neglected estate.
Lister confides her hopes for a future with Ann Walker to her aunt, as Mrs. Priestley's inkling about the two women's relationship presents a threat. Meanwhile, John Booth is surprised at his own romantic success.
Dr. Belcombe confirms that Lister is the perfect tonic for Ann Walker's nervous disorder. When news of a friend's death arrives, Ann's desperate reaction makes Lister suspect that she has secrets of her own.