Dismissed from school for the crime of self-abuse, Master Edward returns to Victorian London in disgrace, to the home of the aloof, ancient father from whom he so looks forward to inheriting. There, however, the sensitive, delicate lad finds that his former governess has been replaced by a disturbingly lovely black-haired young lady scarcely older than himself and yet infinitely more self-assured. Miss Violetta already knows precisely why the boy has returned-and since she can tell, she explains haughtily, that what passed for discipline and education at his previous school were woefully inadequate, she will see to both most painstakingly. The way to overcome temptation, Miss Violetta tells him with her dark eyes simmering, is not to turn and run but instead to face it squarely. To this end, with all of the rightful powers of her unquestioned office, the impeccably black-garbed governess will tease and tantalize and torment the poor boy endlessly. From the time that her special assistants, the smirking redheaded twins Janey and Jenny, bathe and shave the cringing lad every morning to the moment he is put away at night, naked and available for inspection in quarters right next to those of the gloatingly superior Miss Violetta, the disobedient young gentleman reels off-balance and unsure and confused. It is all in the high-sounding name of discipline and morality, of course, and Edward cannot help but obey. Yet from the closed and shuttered chambers of the red-wallpapered mansions of the most respectable families, through the fog-shrouded back alleys of soot and grime and sin, to the sweet-smelling haze of languorous opium dens, Edward soon realizes that before being taken in hand by the merciless Miss Violetta, he had not really even suspected the true meaning of discipline nor of utter and abject submission.