The incursion of industry in a placid, pleasant English community, ""progress"" and some of its unpleasant concomitants, forms a workmanlike novel with solid foundations. Gulport is to be the scene of the new steel mill which brings with it many outsiders; Appleton, from Power & Industry, tortured by his physical bondage to his wife; Heron, the object of his jealousy; Charles Neve, an attractive young engineer with memories of a childhood on the dole which make him ; the Gazzards, Sir Russell- a self-made man with a new title, and his son Andrew. Opposing them are some of the local fishermen- and Sir Charles Melmoth, whose squirearchy has weakened along with his personal finances. And his daughter, Liz, while more attracted to Charles Neve, marries Andrew for the security of his wealth. There are incidents of protest and violence- a strike and sabotage- before the mill is completed, and Liz has equated her marriage to Andrew... Unenlivened, unexceptional.