Rural Ireland, 1760: handsome lad Redmond Barry is in love with his cousin who is affianced to a British Captain. Having killed his rival in a duel, Barry has to go on the run. Soon he looses all his money to a pair of brigands. Devoid of any means of living, Barry sees himself forced to join the British Army. Thus an odyssey through Europe begins which doesn't end until Barry finally wins the heart of the wealthy Lady Lyndon, and marries her, that way securing his social advancement. But once at the top, will he make the best of it?