Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell was an English novelist, biographer, and short story writer. Sylvia's Lovers is set in the period of French Revolutionary Wars, in the remote whaling-port of Monkshaven where the sea dominates the lives of the inhabitants. This is a story of a young woman caught between the attractions of two very different men. One of them is a whaling harpooner named Charley Kinraid, whose charm and vivacity have captured the heart of Sylvia Robson. However, Sylvia's devoted cousin, Philip Hepburn, hopes to marry her himself.