"Men for ever trample upon men"

Jefferies' future world is no utopia, however picturesque it may seem on the surface. It is riven by intercenine conflict between the former 'United Kingdom': the Cymry (the Welsh), the Hibernians (the Irish), and the Western Scots seek to reclaim land taken by the hated English and settle ancient scores. Brigands and mercenaries prey upon the merchant traffic of the Lake (hired muscle, like the Saxons recruited by Vortigern who have long since slipped the leash of their would-be masters, turning lawless and opportunist). The respective armies of each baron fight for dominance – there is conflict enough between nobility, let alone the ever constant threat of the Bushman, the Bandit and the Gipsy in the wildwood.