'How strange and irrational,' thought Adeline, 'are the prejudices of society! Because an idle ceremony has not been muttered over me at the altar, I am liable to be thought a woman of vicious inclinations, and to be exposed to the most daring insults.'' Encouraged by her mother to pursue an interest in radical social ideas, Adeline Mowbray innocently puts her theories of idealized love into practice. Her attempt to live with the philosopher Frederic Glenmurray outside marriage is condemned by both her mother and society. Adeline and Glenmurray's relationship becomes the focal point for Opie's satire on society's attitudes to education, women, marriage, masculine and feminine codes of honour, filial loyalty and the struggle to justify individual choice. Personal as well as political, Adeline Mowbray (1804) is loosely based on the relationship between Opie's friends, Mary Wollstonecraft and William Godwin. Written in a period of conservative reaction in Britain and recalling the earlier radical era of the 1790s the novel offers a gripping exploration of the 'world as it is' and the 'world as it ought to be.'.