This classic and enduring comedy unfolds in a Lancashire bootmaker's shop ruled by a dictatorial, tight-fisted father and pillar of the community, Henry Horatio Hobson. If there's one thing Henry can't stand, it's the "bumptiousness" and "Uppishness" of his three daughters with their fancy modern ways, strutting their stuff wearing bustles in the street and dragging the good name of Hobson through the gutter. He wants the two younger girls out of his way and married off to suitable husbands of his choosing. He believes his elder daughter, Maggie, is far too long in the tooth to find a husband.
Maggie is a strong minded chip of the old block with other ideas. First she engineers a partnership - in marriage and in business - with the shops simple-minded but skilled bootmaker, Willie Mossop. Then, using feminine guile and not a little trickery, she sets about plotting Henry's downfall and succeeds in extracting marriage settlements from him, as well as leaving him little choice but to accept a submissive new order to his life and status.