Elizabeth Inchbald (1753 - 1821) was a British actress, novelist and dramatist. Between 1784 and 1805 she had nineteen of her comedies, sentimental dramas, and farces performed at London theatres. Inchbald's life was marked by tensions between, political radicalism, a passionate nature evidently attracted to a number of her admirers, and a love of independence pitted against her desire for social respectability and a strong attraction to authority figures. When Miss Milner announces her passion for her guardian, a Catholic priest, she breaks through the double barrier of his religious vocation and 18th-century British society's standards of proper womanly behavior. The story begins with the priest in London. "Dorriforth, bred at St. Omer's in all the scholastic rigour of that college, was, by education, and the solemn vows of his order, a Roman Catholic priest--but nicely discriminating between the philosophical and the superstitious part of that character, and adopting the former only, he possessed qualities not unworthy the first professors of Christianity. Every virtue which it was his vocation to preach, it was his care to practise; nor was he in the class of those of the religious, who, by secluding themselves from the world, fly the merit they might have in reforming mankind. He refused to shelter himself from the temptations of the layman by the walls of a cloister, but sought for, and found that shelter in the centre of London, where he dwelt, in his own prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance."