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Generations of Blackwells have farmed this land, but its isolation has protected it from the political unrest suffered by much of England at this time. Fred Blackwell is a hard-working, hard-drinking man who rules his family with belt and fist. Even after his death, the family must endure many ordeals before finally accepting that the farm is ill-fated. They decide to leave and make a new life in the colonies.
Young Thomas, however, has Blackwell blood running through his veins and returns to Cromwell's England to pursue his desire to own Blackwell farm once more; a desire which becomes an obsession that rules his life.