Felix holt, the radical
Just as the 1832 Reform Act is about to change the bucolic and conservatively ordered way of life forever in Treby Magna, two native sons return home. Harold Transome, heir to Transome Court, comes claim his inheritance and campaign for a Radical seat in Parliament. Felix Holt, an artisan and very different radical, returns to stir the electorate to a sense of worth and destiny.
But there is more than a political connection between the two. The ferment of the campaign brings to light long-buried intrigues, which not only affect the fortunes of Harold but also Esther, the restless and socially ambitious daughter of the preacher Rufus Lyon. She suddenly finds herself in a position to realise her dreams of refinement with Harold or, with Felix, to choose still another form of radicalism.