The 5th Duke of Portland is a Victorian misfit, a man who spends his time and wealth creating a network of tunnels beneath his Nottinghamshire estate. As he withdraws further from society he falls prey to his lonely self-absorption and to the mercy of his household staff. His rare appearances are misinterpreted and local gossip has inflated his eccentricities into sinister deformities. No one, not even he, understands his most persistent ache, a pain of absence that no amount of tunnelling or searching can bring to life. The Duke’s slow piecing together of the truth about his past builds to an intensely moving and powerful conclusion.