Once again Anya Seton has steeped herself in her background of the early 18th century and the two rebellions,--the history, the way of life, the people and the many ramifications that conditioned their emotions, their loyalties, their points of view. That her research her back through the periphery of family record and romantic tales handed down for generations, to Northumberland and the Scottish Border, to the coal pits of Tyneside, and to London of Elizabeth and James and the first of the Hanover line, and finally to Colonial Virginia, from the James River back to the Piedmont Wilderness, lends this book broad and rich heritage. Chiefly it is a tale of the Radcliffes, the dedicated and saintly James, and the younger Charles, something of a scapegrace. Charles' life was distorted by an early - and his story carries on to his daughter Jenny and her own . It is a many threaded novel with a central plot and sundry sub alive- and, though history helped to mold them, much of what happened is seen to come from their innermost convictions, their holding to a lost cause, their and the that made up the great extremes in their mode of life. While at times the pace of story is blurred by the complexities of the issues which dominated these uneasy years, always the lines come clear and the reader is caught up in the mood and viallity of the theme.