In this surreal tale, a furious Yorkshireman, his mind already warped by tragedy and family feuding, shifts his muscular hulk south to London. A homophobe and a raging hypochondriac, this fascinating if disrupted man is Donovan Jaxton. He becomes a dictator, not in a racist sense, but desiring, in addition to the abolition of unemployment, the triumph of the decent over the rotten, the frail over the vicious and wholesomeness over decay.
Though capable of extreme cruelty, Jaxton is vulnerable, brutally eccentric and sometimes even lovable. He loves objects of silver, ranging from the flags of his party to the latrines of his workers. That is why he is addressed as Silver Leader. But this roguish leader is not invincible, and his ruin is engineered by his indulgence of his evil daughter, Julia Miranda.