At one point in this millstream-slow novel set in pre-WW I English countrysides, by the veteran author of pudgy romantic sagas, there's a scan of a bored audience: ""it was a pleasurable boredom of that warm, comforting, essentially English kind which can. . .pray for nothing terribly exciting to happen."" There are also plenty of warm, comforting moments here for the peaceful, boredom-immune reader turning pages of an essentially gentle tale about the maturing of a young man believed to be (by others as well as by himself) a by-blow of the Prince of Wales. Patrick Davy, gamekeeper to the aristocratic Lessore family, and Patrick's wife Martha, erstwhile servant to same, received the baby they were to raise as their own on a winter's day in 1915. Martha, due to hints and dues, is sure that the mother, Miriam Lessore, had entertained the Prince of Wales. But Patrick, who dallied with Miriam in the dell, knows better. Still, the baby will be nicknamed ""Fitzie"" (the traditional prefix for royal by-blows), and the royal tag will seem to be an advantage: Fitzie will blossom in a top-flight private school (while Martha, always inclined to hide her intelligence and drive, grieves that Fitzie is moving into a world of ""naturally superior people""). Over the years, Patrick (his passion for Miriam gone long ago) becomes a rich man and buys out the Lessore estate, and Miriam becomes friend and business partner of Martha. Along the way, Fitzie confronts love and sex with: the painter Angelina, sensible Mary, battered Ruth (his childhood nurse), and--torrid tea and sympathy--the headmaster's wife. Before the close, there will be much revelation and crossing wires before Fitzie--as well as his surviving family--clears the air. Anglophilic ambling with low-key chat and companionable people.