Carrie, Tom, Em and Michael Fielding are at the mercy of their rotten Uncle Rudolph after a fire leaves them homeless, with their mother in hospital and their father abroad at sea. Uncle Rudolph and his vain wife Val reluctantly take the children in, but soon let them live alone at World's End, their ramshackle house in the countryside, rather than look after them.
So begins a life with no grown-ups where the Fielding children can adopt as many dogs, cats, monkeys and horses as they like. Free at last from interference from their relatives, they begin to fend for themselves, adding to their already sizeable collection of animals — rescuing them from the thoughtless cruelty of adults.
The House at World's End is the first adventure in The World's End series.