Prosper Merimee was a 19th century French historian, playwright, short story writer and archaeologist. His best-known work was the novella Carmen, which later became the opera Carmen by Bizet. Nevil and his daughter have returned from a trip to Italy. When Lydia purchases a small painting and then finds out she has been swindled the action begins. Colomba is the story of a beautiful young Corsican girl, single-minded in her thirst for revenge. She convinces her returning soldier-brother that he must avenge their father's murder by ancient enemies of the family.