Author(s): Chedzoy Alan
On a wild night in March 1772, s small vessel put out to sea from Kent heading for Dunkirk. Aboard was eighteen-year-old Eliza Linley, the finest soprano in England. She was fleeing from a rich, elderly but unwanted admirer. Guarding her was the young Richard Brinsley Sheridan, a feckless adventurer, desperately in love but too diffident to admit it. Their destination was a convent where Eliza would be safe. They did not reach it. Instead they embarked upon one of the most discussed marriages of the eighteenth century.