The story begins in late August 1865 with the meeting of Daniel Deronda and Gwendolen Harleth in the town of Leubronn, Germany. Daniel finds himself attracted to, but wary of, the beautiful, stubborn, and selfish Gwendolen, whom he sees losing all her winnings in a game of roulette. The next day, Gwendolen receives a letter from her mother telling her that the family is financially ruined and asking her to come home. In despair at losing all her money, Gwendolen pawns a necklace and debates gambling again to make her fortune. In a fateful moment, however, her necklace is returned to her by a porter, and she realizes that Daniel saw her pawn the necklace and redeemed it for her.