John Wroe, prophet of the apocalyptic Christian Israelite Church, made his headquarters in Lancashire in the 1820's. When God told him to comfort himself with seven virgins, his congregation gave him their daughters.
Each woman in Wroe's household, from brutalised Martha to saintly Joanna, has her own secret hopes of a new life – either in heaven or on earth – at a point in history when anything seems possible. And each has her own view of the prophet. Mr Wroe's Virgins tells the story of the nine months of their life together, until accusations of indecency, and the trial that follows, bring Wroe's household to a dramatic end.