Who is Mrs Helena Bennett and how did she come to live alone in the remote Sussex countryside ? Her neighbours know her as an eccentric old woman who roams the forest with her beloved dog, is generous to the poor, and smokes a hookah. They call her 'The Black Princess', although she is not very dark-skinned nor of Royal Birth. It is Spring 1853 when a chance visitor causes Helena to begin to recall her early life. Through her eyes the reader is transported to 1785 at the British Residency in Lucknow, India, a city renowned for its hybrid culture, the excesses of the ruling Nawab, and the avarice of some of the East India Company officers. The Black Princess is based on a true story.