During 16th century France, widower Auguste de Barbarac, father of Danielle, marries Rodmilla, a rich baroness and mother of 2 daughters, Marguerite and Jacqueline. When Auguste dies from a heart attack, his final words are given to Danielle. Rodmilla becomes jealous and is really mean and nasty to Danielle. 10 years later, the estate has fallen into decline and Rodmilla wants to get back to court instead of farming, which she sees a burden.
Rodmilla has reduced Danielle to a servant in her own home and one morning she and Marguerite steal Danielle's mother's dress and slippers to wear in the ball. When Marguerite says something bad about Danielle's mom's death to Danielle, Danielle fights and chases Marguerite around the manor and then Marguerite makes a threat to burn Danielle's book, Utopia, which was given to Danielle by her dad before he died. Reluctantly Danielle gives the slippers of her late mom's to Rodmilla, in order to get her dad's book back, but Marguerite throws the book into the fireplace anyway to be mean to Danielle. Later Rodmilla and Marguerite punish Danielle cruelly by having her whipped and during her whipping she condemns Marguerite for what she did.
Then Baroness Rodmilla has a confrontation with Danielle and says she stole the dress and slippers, which have disappeared. Rodmilla has Danielle locked up in the pantry for insulting Marguerite. It gets worst when Rodmilla tells everyone, including Henry, Danielle's identity at the ball. When Henry gets confused and mad by this, Danielle runs from the castle, losing one of her slippers, but the slipper is found and given to Henry, by Leonardo.
Rodmilla sells Danielle to a vicious landowner and the landowner attempts sexual advances towards Danielle, but he gets his face cut by her and she's freed. Meanwhile, Henry makes his arrival at the landowner's home and finds, apologizes, proposes, and puts the slipper on Danielle's foot. Later Rodmilla and Marguerite and Jacqueline are summoned to court, thinking that Henry plans to propose to Marguerite, but actually Rodmilla is accused of lying to the queen and is stripped of her title and her and Marguerite are sentenced to exile if nobody speaks on their behalf. Danielle asks the king and queen to give Rodmilla and Marguerite the same courtesy that the 2 had given her, which the net result is Rodmilla and Marguerite are reduced to and work as laundry maids for the rest of their lives, but Jacqueline is spared punishment because she's a good woman and becomes Danielle's lady-in-waiting.