A long throw backwards in time from Miss Mallette (1948), this is nearer the earlier The Perilous Night (1942) in its development of factual historical background for the superimposition of romance. This tells of Edward, Earl of Oxford, in the reign of Elizabeth, his confining wardship to William Cecil, his devotion to poetry and the stage. With his marriage to Ann Cecil he gains some freedom, but trouble is his master and his loyalty go his ruler which is in contrast to his inability to keep in her good graces, his fiery love for Nan Vavasour, and his eventual recognition of Eliza Trentham's love are caparisoned with known events. These include Cecil's iron fist and circumferential politics, Elizabeth's national, international and personal problems, and the whole temper and tempo of the times. The pace and action are slowed however by the panorama of history.