The play was originally performed by Queen Anne's Men, the company for which Heywood acted and wrote in the early Jacobean era. The records of Philip Henslowe show that Heywood was paid £6 for the play in February and March of 1603. The 1607 quarto was printed by William Jaggard for the bookseller John Hodgets. A second quarto was issued in 1617 by William Jaggard's son Isaac Jaggard.
The play tells the story of a married couple, Master Frankford and his wife Anne. Anne is caught in adultery with her lover, Wendoll; her husband punishes her not with death but with ostracism. In the end she pines away and dies, "killed with kindness."
The adulterous wife Anne Frankford is contrasted with the virtuous Susan Mountford. In the play's subplot, Sir Charles Mountford attempts to prostitute his sister Susan to Sir Francis Acton (Anne Frankford's brother), to whom he is deeply in debt. Susan, however, retains her virtue. In the end Acton discharges the debts of Mountford and marries Susan.