The final account in the hundred and fifty-odd year chronicle of the Medley family and Mantlemass which began in The Lark and the Laurel (1970) and continued through The Sprig of Broom (1972), A Cold Wind Blowing (1973) and the Iron Lily (1974). As always the family fortunes are tied to the historical fortunes of England (in this case the Civil War). Cecilia and Nicholas Highwood, brother and sister related to the Medleys only through their mother, love the manor and struggle to preserve it--and, as various claimants appear with better titles to the property, to define their true political loyalties. Mantlemass is burned finally, the young genuine heir killed, and most of the family goes off to start a new life in the American colonies. Only Cecilia remains to marry and renounce her family's clouded claim to the throne through Richard Plantagenet. Those who have not followed the family previously will be hard put to become truly interested in the fate of this last epigonic generation.