England, slowly changing, but fundamentally unchanged in character, through three wars, in a three part historical panoramic novel. The Boer War finds the Landless family deep in preparation for a benefit performance of Patience. Kitty, the favorite, acquires a regular army man as a husband; Sybilla discovers hidden and horrid passions in herself and cherishes a lifetime sense of guilt because she has loved and lost a married man; Georgie and Myra are at this time relatively unimportant to the story. Next the first World War finds Kitty ready for divorce and remarriage; Georgia marrying the high church rector whom Sybilla had claimed as her own private property, in the portals of the church she had so enthusiastically embraced; Myra, now grown up, is having an affair, finds herself pregnant, she marries faithful Toby to save herself. Finally, the present war, and the interest centers on Toby and Myra, who have worked out to a happy marriage which almost crashes on Toby's discovery that his eldest son is not his own. At the end, Sybilla is killed by a bomb which falls on Marlingate, where she has stubbornly stayed in the midst of cherished possessions. While there is much of interest, the book, on the whole, drags, and seems already dated.