Grace Elliott (Lucy Russell) is a stubborn Scottish ex-patriot living in Paris during the French Revolution. A staunch supporter of the King, Louis XVI, she has established a deep friendship with her ex-lover, the Duke of Orléans (Jean-Claude Dreyfus). Seeing trouble and danger on the horizon, he recommends that she return to England but she refuses. This elegant and zealous lady is convinced that the "rabble" on the streets will not determine her future.

Grace is finally forced to seek sanctuary in her country home. Traveling through Paris, she is horrified by all the bodies of the dead soldiers who were supposed to defend the King. Then she sees the head of the Princess on a stake and is overwhelmed with grief and nausea. She decides to take a political stand against the revolutionaries by hiding the Marquis de Champcenetz (Leonard Cobiant). Risking her life to save him, she even surprises herself, given the fact that the Duke dislikes the man intensely.

Writer and director Eric Rohmer has adapted this costume drama from Grace Elliott's Journal of My Life During the French Revolution. Lucy Russell's versatile performance is a multileveled triumph as she steadfastly maintains her loyalty to the monarchy despite the Duke's opposition to the King and all he stands for. Placing herself in danger, Grace uses the moment with courage. In one of the most telling scenes in the drama, she is carted off to prison but not before she places a lavender bag between her breasts to keep the stench of the rabble out of her nostrils. Grace's zeal under pressure, along with a little bit of luck, carries her through the revolution.