The Constant Nymph (1943) - Plot Summary Poster

Plot Summary

  • Fourteen-year-old Tessa is hopelessly in love with handsome composer Lewis Dodd, a family friend. Lewis adores Tessa, but has never shown any romantic feelings toward her. When Tessa's father dies, Lewis contacts her late mother's wealthy family so they'll take care of Tessa and her sisters. Lewis becomes taken with Tessa's haughty cousin Florence and the two soon marry and head off for Florence's estate in England. Meanwhile, Florence sends Tessa and her sister Paula off to finishing school. The girls run away from school and Tessa moves in with Florence and Louis. Florence soon becomes consumed with jealousy over the bond between her husband and Tessa.

    - Written by Daniel Bubbeo <dbubbeo@cmp.com>
  • Lewis Dodd is a Brussels based modern composer. His latest symphony, which just premiered at the Regent Theatre in London, is an unmitigated flop, deemed to be too mechanical. He considers the more melodic piece he wrote for his friends, the Sangers, to be trifle. The Sangers, a poor family of musicians, are his dearest friends, they who live in a mountain chalet nestled within the Swiss Alps. Patriarch Albert Sanger believes Lewis has a real talent for melody writing, which is against the mathematical way of composing his modern pieces, and encourages him to expand that so-called trifle into a symphonic poem. One of Sanger's daughters, teen-aged Tessa Sanger, has heart problems, which are exacerbated more by emotional distress than physical exertion. Tessa is just at the age where she is beginning to have womanly feelings. Her life long affection for Lewis has now turned into romantic love, of which Lewis is unaware. Instead, Lewis falls in love with Tessa's London based first cousin, the wealthy and sophisticated Florence Creighton, who, along with her father Charles Creighton, have come to Switzerland to look after their poor relations following Albert's death. They marry. But Lewis and Florence immediately begin to have problems in their marriage, which are compounded by Lewis doting on all the Sangers, the special bond he and especially Tessa seem to have most specifically about his music, and Florence not being oblivious to the fact of Tessa's love for her husband. The question becomes how this romantic triangle will play out.

    - Written by Huggo


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