The British empire was on the verge of revolution and at the centre of events are the Stuart sisters: Mary the Queen, and Anne the Queen-to-be, continually haunted by the memory of their father, James II, whom they have wronged.
Driven nearly mad by mercury poisoning and weakened by parasites, a mature Blue bull whale searches for his mate and his last surviving calf. The threat from man's harpoons has been replaced with one of a more deadly nature - that brought about by man's technology and greed.
Two strangers arrive at Hundred Acre Field and the rumour is that a large housing estate is to be built there. While the protests and public enquiry take place, the villagers have other cause for shaking their heads when Miss Jackson falls in love and Joseph Coggs takes flight from Tyler's Row.