Semi-picaresque, semi-social novel, based on the wrongs of the class theory and the lack of the underprivileged to better themselves. The period is 18 century England -- the central character a ""bully boy"", whose bastardy denies him his place, and builds in him a dominating passion of hatred. He sets out to carve out a fortune for himself -- he flees the cruelty of his uncle -- and the love of his cousin; he champions a seaman and they are both marooned in the South Seas. There he builds a new life for himself, but eventually he has his fortune, and returns to England to carry out his promised revenge. Neither a pretty nor a pleasant tale.