The story of how boycott entered the English language is that of Captain Charles Cunningham Boycott, agent for absentee Lord Erner on his estates in County Mayo. Boycott, driven by his employer, is ruthless in his eviction of tenants, adamant in his refusal to reconsider, and rouses again the cottagers who band in groups to work against him. Schoolmaster Davin is leader of one, whose ambition it is to get guns to withstand the military they know will come, and it is he who helps to restrain the passion for individual murders as an outlet for rising passions. Boycott is further harassed by his love for Judith, who is infatuated with a worthless Army man; Davin by his love for Anne who guesses but knows nothing of his secret activities. Murder is done, but the tenants are only treated more harshly, and it is not until they completely ignore Boycott that they are successful in driving him away from the land that hates him. Based on fact, and no doubt embroidered in its romantic aspects, this cannot compete with the current crop of highly flavored historical novels in its sober, considered account of Irish land troubles of the 1880's.