Richard McAllister, a young minister in the government, has temporarily left the Cabinet while recovering from being stabbed by a thug at a football match. He has decided, while recuperating, to go to South Africa to research a relative and his account of the horse in the Boer War. While in Mafeking, he is called back to London because his passionate affair with an actress has become public knowledge. From that moment, the love affair becomes almost impossibly fraught. The press hound them, the government spin doctors try to suppress all news and Joanna’s husband becomes very vindictive. The lovers are parted, and Joanna leaves for America.
This is a novel about contemporary politics, the power of film, the nature of history and above all about two people caught hopelessly in love, subject to the stresses of fame and scandal. It is an exceptional achievement.