abrice del Dongo, a young archbishop, gives his all to romance rather than to the Church, creating complications for everyone around. The Countess of San Severina, is but one of the women who love him a la folie, spurring jealous retribution in high places from those who in turn want her. From his prison window, Fabrice falls in love with the jailer's daughter who takes a vow to the Virgin Mary to never see him again if his escape succeeds.

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