Life in the fairy kingdom has been pretty miserable since Iolanthe was banished for marrying a mortal, forbidden by fairy law, but things start to look up when the Fairy Queen pardons her.
Iolanthe's son Strephon, a shepherd, was born half fairy and half-mortal and is madly in love with Phyllis, a Ward of Chancery. But, Phyllis has a dilemma. She is so beautiful that all members of the House of Lords and her guardian, the Lord Chancellor, want to marry her.
Many complications follow in this hilarious satirical fantasy, but the tangled plot unravels in true Gilbertian fashion, and all ends well.