As young Lord Hadley and his companion Edward Dudley travel along a dark, coastal road, they encounter a young girl pinioned by a fallen wall. They rescue her and alert her father, stationed on the cliff-top, apparently watching for something or someone, before continuing their journey to the home of Sir Arthur Adelon. What was the girl doing out alone at night? What was her father's business on the cliff? Who is the sinister-looking stranger that young Edgar Adelon spots at the home of his beloved? And does Dudley have a chance with the beautiful heiress Eda, or have her affections been won by his wealthy patron? As tensions rise between Lord and tutor, tragedy strikes and the harsh reality of the penal system is laid bare. With the backdrop of political unrest and the growing Chartist movement, this tale has intrigue, romance and passion.