The career of the once successful classical portraitist, Kingdom Swann, has hit bad times. When a leading gallery rejects his work, he seems at the point of giving up. It is only the support of his housekeeper, Violet Askey, that keeps him going and it is she who encourages him to switch to photography. Soon Swann has developed a healthy (and respectable) business with portraits of naked women in classical and exotic settings. However, the nature of Swann's new work is open to misinterpretation and he finds himself at the centre of a scandal involving the misuse of his pictures by a SOHO pornographer, and the focus of a campaign by suffragettes against the expoitation of women. At the same time, he loses the support of the loyal Violet, who leaps to the wrong conclusion about Swann's relationship with one of his models. When Violet then becomes involved in the suffragette and amti-pornography movements, it seems all may be lost for Swann - both professionally...and personally.