This is the story, from childhood on, of three academics, an Englishman, Dominic, an American, Nathan Whittier, and another Englishman, Eric Maitland. Dominic is from a poor family with the odds all against him in his fight to find a place in society worthy of him; Eric has similar ambitions but starts from a much stronger position with influence to help him to beat the great competition. While still at school they clash before going their separate ways, Dominic into the RAF becoming aircrew in 1945. A chief source of appeal is Dominic's battle to achieve his objective in education while not selling his soul, while keeping his integrity, in the interest of our cultural health and well-being, in a world in which standards are falling everywhere in everything. We deal with these vital matters on both sides of the Atlantic as Nathan (himself subject to big business) comes to wield power over both in English and American universities. There is drama and suspense, colour and humour, as we see what happens to both these Englishmen in their fight to find the Holy Grail of fulfilment and understanding.
The novel builds to a dramatic climax as Dominic and Eric meet again to do battle in their quests in a test of everyone's morals and honesty. This fine novel, genuine and lasting literature, is essential reading, a real page-turner.