From the slums of London to the riches of an Edwardian country
house; from the hot, dark seams of a Yorkshire coalmine to the
exposed terrors of the trenches, Adam Raine’s journey from boy to
man is set against the backdrop of a society violently entering the
modern world. Adam Raine is a boy cursed by misfortune. His
impoverished childhood in the slums of Islington is brought to an
end by a tragedy that sends him north to Scarsdale, a hard-living
coalmining town where his father finds work as a union organizer.
But it isn’t long before the escalating tensions between the miners
and their employer, Sir John Scarsdale, explode with terrible
consequences. In the aftermath, Adam meets Miriam, the Rector’s
beautiful daughter, and moves into Scarsdale Hall, an opulent
paradise compared with the life he has been used to before. But he
makes an enemy of Sir John’s son, Brice, who subjects him to
endless petty cruelties for daring to step above his station.