A striking romantic novel of 1913 of a young Englishman’s uphill fight. Douglas Guest is an orphan, raised by a stern, religious, and uncompromising uncle, Gideon Strong, in the North of England. His uncle orders him to marry his cousin and take up the post of cleric in their small town but he confronts his uncle, takes money which was intended for his education, and escapes to London. On the train, he meets the beautiful Countess Emily de Reuss, who takes an interest in him. Douglas has aspirations to be a writer in London but is frustrated when no publisher will buy his work. Emily has spread the word that no one should support him. Meanwhile, his uncle is found murdered, and his two cousins, Cicely and Jane, have come to London to find the murderer.