Wedlock is the story of fabulously rich Eleanor Bowes, who, after finding herself widowed at age 24 (with five children!), has a good time with several overlapping boyfriends and haplessly marries one, thinking he’s dying for her when in fact he had staged the duel that seemed to be killing him (yes, it’s 1777). She then embarks on a horrible second marriage as a battered woman since her new husband is a vicious abuser and she happened to have lost all her civil rights by marrying him, as was the case for all women in England at that time — and probably most of the world.
After fantastic adventures and many years of cruel treatment, the least of which is her complete estrangement from her children, she manages to escape him and successfully sues him for divorce, helped only by her servants, almost all female. And she promptly finds a married man who doesn’t say he’s married to hang out with. So she had terrible taste. But thank goodness the laws have evolved to protect women better, although it took time, as described in The Sealed Letter.