Francis Ashby (Michael Palin) is a sternly conventional Oxford don on a reading holiday in the Swiss Alps. Staying in the same hotel are two friendly American women, Caroline (Connie Booth) and her spirited young ward, Elinor (Trini Alvarado). Little does Ashby, the confirmed bachelor, realise that his romantic education is about to begin. Holiday ended he has settled safely back in the all-male world of his Oxford college when, one day, he is panicked to see two familiar figures, Caroline and Elinor, strolling across the quadrangle. Women are very definitely forbidden entry to this male preserve. Inspired by his own great grandfather s story Michael Palin and Tristram Powell have written a comedy of love set against the strict conventions and rules of the time. Ashby wrestles with unfamiliar emotions and the ladies wonder which of his American friends will win him.