1630: after long years of peace the reign of Charles I brings brutal civil war to England. The clash between King and Parliament is echoed at Morland Place when Richard brings home a Puritan bride while his brother, Kit, joins Prince Rupert and the Royalist cavalry, leaving their father Edmund desperately trying to steer a middle course between the fighting factions. As the war grinds on, bitterness and disillusion replace the early fervour, and the schisms between husband and wife, father and son, grow deeper.
Edmund struggles grimly through it all in an attempt to keep the Morland fortune intact, but he is thwarted by the estrangement between his sons and then alienated from his beloved wife, Mary.
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