The twenty-six year old Edmund, Earl of Warenne, accepts a challenge to win an impossible wager. At the risk of losing his favourite snuff box and being saddled with an ugly wife, Edmund agrees to court a desperate old maid, sight unseen, and have his honourable marriage proposal rejected in front of witnesses. He knows he’ll win; he’s lucky as well as thorough. Not really wanting to be saddled with an unpleasant life companion, he decides to take extreme measures to ensure that the old maid finds his offer unpalatable. Fate flips its coin. Edmund’s natural optimism is put to the test as the coin is caught with tragedy facing upward. Will he be able to see the lucky side of life when he realises that sometimes to win is to lose?
Miss Priscilla Stanley is doomed. She’s the unluckiest woman ever born. If something good happens to her, she knows that if she waits long enough, something bad will come of it. She’s very pretty with alluring curves, but she counts these blessings as curses, because they attract all the wrong kind of men. She isn’t penniless; as soon as she marries, she’ll receive a two thousand pound annuity left to her by her parents, but without a husband this fortune is frozen. Penniless, she’s forced to live with her aunt and uncle, who view her as a harbinger of ill fortune. They hope to be rid of her before their house burns down or they die in a horrid accident. Unbeknown to Priscilla, her uncle has agreed to pay her cousin Donald five thousand pounds if he can find a man to marry her and take her away. Priscilla has had many offers of marriage, but as ill-luck would have it none of them took her to the altar. Fate appears to be nothing more than a heartless fiend who finds great pleasure in poking Priscilla with a stick, but when the Earl of Warenne comes to pay his addresses something strange starts to happen. Has she been the unluckiest woman in the world, or the luckiest?