Adaptation of the eponymous novel, which depicts the eventful life of working-class girl Emma Lyon from London. The beauty of the peasants′ daughter inspires famous painter Romney, who portrays her over and over again, and helps Emma to escape her humble origins. She marries Sir Hamilton, Britain′s ambassador in Naples, befriends the Sicilian Queen and finally becomes the lover of legendary English war hero Lord Nelson. But when Nelson dies without including Emma in his testament, she descends into poverty. The snobbish upper-class ignores the plight of the proletarian girl, and in the end, Emma Lyon starves to death.