Wideacre. Philippa Gregory. 1987.

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Wideacre Hall faces due south, set in the heart of the English countryside surrounded by fertile fields, rich woodlands and the rolling Downs of Sussex. This is the Lacey’s ancestral home and no one could love it more than Beatrice, the passionate, beautiful daughter of the house. Her need for Wideacre is an obsession and she will contemplate anything - even incest and murder - to possess it. For the reality of her situation is that, as a woman in England in the 1770s, she is completely without property rights and can look forward only to an arranged marriage in exile, while her brother inherits the land.

But laws and conventions mean little to Beatrice, as she single-mindedly pursues her goal of becoming the sole owner of Wideacre. Using her wits, her sensuality and her beauty, she ensnares her brother and dominates the estate. Yet even as her brilliant scheming succeeds, Beatrice is haunted by the one person alive who fully understands her obsession and knows her capacity for evil........