Her aged father Stephen, 3rd Earl of Mount Cashell, of Moore Park, Kilworth, Co. Cork, is daily at her side while her mother is on her deathbed. No stranger to courtrooms, this will be Catherine Louisa's greatest battle, the centrepiece of the most sensational divorce case of the 19th century.
Faced with relentless questioning from a group of Ireland's foremost lawyers and cross examined 'with a ruthless brutality...never seen displayed before,' the most graphic details of her public and private life are dissected before an astounded public. Newspapers carry the story all over the world. And it emerges during the case that papers with graphic details of the trial were being hideen from women in rural Ireland.
Described as 'impure, corrupt, licentious, gross, degraded, intoxicated...devilish and sensual in her character', will Lady Catherine Louisa and the Mount Cashell family survive this public onslaught or crumble beneath it? And what of her husband Richard? Will his scandalous allegations gain him his divorce?
As well as referencing the position of women in 19th century Ireland, this riveting story of taboos, family, class, money, power and religion, at times defies belief.