Includes bibliographical references (pages 169-174) and index.
pt. 1. The personal roots of scandal : a hunger for love. Henry Ward Beecher : the emergence of the gospel of love -- Theodore Tilton : making it in the Gilded Age -- Elizabeth Tilton : the transformation of a marriage -- pt. 2. Social origins of the scandal. "Plymouth : the rock upon which Mr. Beecher stands" -- The scandal and local politics : the "radical rumpus" -- Two churches : money, power, and social conflict in Brooklyn -- pt. 3. The scandal and its consequences. The higher sphere : nesting on Brooklyn Heights -- Theodore Tilton as scapegoat : retreat from the gospel of love.