Halifax, 1832. Anne Lister returns to Shibden Hall, having discovered that her would-be companion, the aristocratic Vere Hobart, has accepted a marriage proposal from a man. Despite her affection for her elderly aunt, Lister is frustrated by the shabbiness of her ancestral home and finds her father and long-suffering sister difficult to live with. When Lister discovers that her land is rich in coal, her plans to transform the estate soon provide a welcome distraction. On the neighboring estate, shy heiress Ann Walker is quietly delighted to hear that the charismatic Anne Lister is back. Meanwhile, a hit-and-run accident on Shibden land puts a child’s life at risk, and Lister’s new French maid, Eugénie, finds herself in trouble.