In the heat of June all England seems to head for Epsom Downs. Aristocrats and beggars, society beauties and street girls, punters and thieves all stream along the dusty roads, heading for the greatest race of the year. Hopes are high and nerves are taut on Derby Day. Many have waited and schemed for this day all year.
Even in the depths of Winter, when the wind whistles through foggy London courts, the ale-house talk turns to the race. Across town in the clubs of St James’s the rakish Mr Happerton plays billiards and plots with his crony, Captain Raff. While in Lincolnshire, troubled Mr Davenant broods over his finances and waits for his daughter’s new governess to arrive at Scroop Hall.
Taylor’s evocative novel is rich with the hustle of Victorian England and memorable characters. Uniting them all is the champion horse Tiberius, on whose performance many a destiny depends