Early one morning in October 1618, three men are unable to sleep. It is the day that Sir Walter Raleigh (or Ralegh) is due to come before the King’s Bench on a charge of high treason. Sir Henry Yelverton worries about serving as the King’s Attorney General, to condemn a man he can’t help but respect. James I lies tormented by paranoia and doubt, clinging to the superficial friendship of his favourites and eager to be rid of Raleigh, who reminds him of the gulf between Elizabeth’s sovereignty and his own. Raleigh himself, imprisoned in the Tower, finds himself remembering the steps which brought him there, and the lost, golden world of Elizabethan England which made his fortune and then brought it down crumbling in its wake.