Written in 1869 with a clear awareness of the time's tension over women's rights, "He Knew He Was Right" is primarily a story about Louis Trevelyan, a young, wealthy, educated Victorian man and his marriage to the beautiful Emily Rowley. They meet in the Mandarin Islands, where Emily's father is governor, but their happiness in wedlock is short-lived. They soon have a son and Louis begins to have strong feelings of jealousy towards Emily. Emily accepts frequent visits from the older Colonel Osborne, despite the fact that these innocent calls incite the unwarranted disapproval of Louis, to the point of resentment and separation. While their marital struggle carries on, Trollope skillfully weaves in other characters and the difficulties they face, most notably with Aunt Jemima Stanbury and several unmarried ladies of her acquaintance. When the tale turns back to the emotionally unstable Louis, the author continues to explore the psychological and emotional depths of the strained spousal relationship of this man, fully and masterfully delving into the tragedy of a man going jealously insane.