The time of the tale is the early nineteenth century, the scene rural England, and the hero, one Peter Vibart, who tells his own history most engagingly. Disinherited, as he believes, by his uncle, Peter sets forth on the "Broad Highway" in search of a livelihood and of adventure. The first he finds as blacksmith in a Kentish village, the second rushes upon him in various and startling forms. Love comes to meet him, too, and he tells of it with an amusing, careful candor that recalls Blackmore's hero, John Ridd. In fact, the whole story suggests Lorna Doone, but the resemblance is vague enough to be pleasant.
More charming than the narrative, however, are the detached descriptive passages sketching the travelers met by Peter on the road, and the quaint rural types of his later experience. The author has rare powers of character-photography.