Isolde is sent to the Abbey as the only alternative other than marriage available to her. Due to her social standing she is assigned the most senior role of Abbess, even though Sister Ursula, the Lady Almoner, has lived in the convent since she was just four years old.
‘The terms of our father’s will are that we have to get you settled. He would not allow any delay. Either immediate marriage to my friend here, or …’ He paused. ‘Or what?’ Isolde asked, suddenly afraid. ‘The abbey,’ he said simply. ‘Father said that if you would not marry, I was to appoint you as abbess and that you should go there to live.’