For a century and a half the Tur family have managed to exclude anything likely to damage the feudal Utopia of Vedra. The Tur's status as virtual rulers is undermined by the deepening of the harbour and the establishment of a regular steamship service. Ten years of the ship hurls Vedra into the twentieth century and the stagnant feudalism is replaced by the tyranny of speculators Against this new oppression the island's fisherfolk are driven to revolt.