Screenwriter Robert Bolt's directorial debut is a lushly romantic saga concerning the 1812 love affair between the wife of William Lamb, Lord of Melbourne, and the author of the poem Childe Harold, Lord Byron. Excited and embarrassed by the attendant affections heaped upon him, Byron found his writing talent waning, and in 1813 the lovers ended their affair. In her first novel, Glenarvon in 1816, Lady Lamb included a satiric portrait of her former lover. But when she later witnessed Byron's funeral in 1828, she was so affected by his death she never mentally recovered from the trauma. The film charts the doomed romantic course for Lady Caroline Lamb (Sarah Miles), beginning with her marriage to the politically promising William Lamb (Jon Finch) and continuing with her scandalous affair with Byron (Richard Chamberlain). The film then chronicles Lady Caroline Lamb's supreme sacrifice on behalf of her husband's political career.