Set in British theater-land in the very early 20th century, a tale of one man's quest as an actor for a secure wage and fame
Christopher Tatham lurches from bit part to bit part, always hoping for the longed-for leading-man role, relying on the kindness of relations to keep him housed and clothed. A chance encounter with the enchanting Peggy Harper seems to preempt a change of fortune. Will they both attain the success they crave? Toasting engagements without ginger-beer, living hand-to-mouth, Merrick's seedy world makes for grim reading and when Peggy turns out to be as fame-hungry, vain, and vacant as she first appears, Christopher's lot looks unlikely to improve. In an age in which fame and celebrity are widely courted and craved, this book still makes for an intriguing and, potentially, cautionary tale.