This brings the history of the Washbournes up to date, for the Admiral and his Lady lose the final battle from their feudal pinnacle and decide to sell their beloved Otterley, unless, of course, their son, Tom, should happen to marry money. And it is all of Severnshire that follows the chance he may have of winning Lady Margaret, whose grandmother, Tille, in all for the match. But Tom, muddled and doubtful, comes a cropper and there is young Princilla, with her love of the old estates and houses, to catch his fancy and head him to the alter. Along with the combined operations to save Otterley, is the bitter feud between Dame Olive and Lady Warnedon for first lady-ship of the County; young Henry's rebellion against his grandmother's die-hard Toryism and his romance with his boss' daughter; the infiltration of newcomers into a top-heavy and systematized community; the swarm of elderly cupids so terribly alert to all whispers of wedding bells; and the fury of the economic storm which has wiped out the golden days of the landed aristocracy. The seeming casualness of social interchange, the efforts to fight and prevail against impossible odds, the parties, tennis, that those on their beam ends pursue -- reach their finale with the saddening sale of Otterley. A tougher, tenderer observer than Thirkell, Pakington offers his performers in a gently sly, affectionate and appreciative ave atque vale.