A lone Londoner maps the city, hearing beneath its surface the urgent whispers of the past. As he listens he grows convinced they are predicting London's future.
Meepers, homeless and dishevelled, yet an enlightened and mystically knowing amateur archeologist, seeks to understand the destruction of London in the Dark Ages, hoping to predict the capital's future. Emery, a university historian, writes to his absent wife as he prepares for the start of term. He once rejected for publication a 'crackpot' article by Meepers, and is alarmed to find he has appeared at his first lecture. And now he seems to be following Emery everywhere he goes.
In a dazzling mixture of contemporary life and period speech, London is illuminated through the voices of Neanderthal man, Saxon kings, anonymous invaders, the flea that spread the Black Death and the transsexual King Elizabeth.