In 1847, seventeen-year-old Miss Ellen Palmer had the world at her feet. A debutante at the start of her first London season, Ellen was beautiful, rich and accomplished and about to experience the world of dances, opera visits and dinner parties which were a rite-of-passage for young women of her class. To record the glittering whirl of activity, Ellen started writing a diary, a unique daily account which was discovered over a century later by her descendants. For Ellen, the path to true love did not run smooth - after a scandalous encounter with a duplicitous Swedish count, her marriage prospects were dealt a heavy blow. But Ellen was a woman ahead of her time. Undeterred by her increasing social isolation, she set off on a treacherous trip across Europe in pursuit of her beloved brother Roger, an officer in the Crimean War. In doing so she became one of the first women to visit the battlefield at Balaclava. Ellen's diaries provide a first-hand account of the realities of debutante life in Victorian London whilst also telling the story of an inspirational young woman, her quest for love and her spectacular journey from the ballroom to the battlefield.