The Rover follows the story of a handsome yet philandering cavalier by the name of Willmore. He has arrived in an english colony in Spain, with his friends Belvile and Frederick, who are exiled from England under Cromwell's rule. It is Carnival time, and the eldest of three sisters, Floinda, is in love with Belvile. However, she and her sisters Valeria and Helena are banned from going to through the streets at this time of the year. Helena is to be forced to become a nun, by her father (an unsuitable life for a high spirited girl) and Florinda is being made to marry a man she does not love (Don Antonio) by her brother Don Pedro. Valeria hatches a plan for them to escape the confines of their fathers house by dressing as boys.
Meanwhile, Don Antonio and Don Pedro fall out over the charms of the courtesan, Angelica, who is demanding a hefty sum for her services. To add insult to injury, she is then seduced by the handsome and flamboyant Willmore and gives him her services gratis. Belvile and Florinda arrange a meeting at her garden gate, but when Willmore arrives, drunken, the lovers are discovered and Belvile is arrested.
The girl's disguises are revealed, Willmore falls for Helena, Valeria falls for frederick, a duel is fought, and to cut it short, all ends well for the lovers.
The Rover is a very amusing and poignant restoration play of love and deception. It is also an early feminist play, and all of the female roles are substantial and feisty. The women in the play take charge of their own destinies, and all ends well for them.