David Claridge, a Quaker chafing under the restrictions of his faith, journeys to Egypt. His beloved uncle Benn is there, and has been caught in a massacre of Christians in Damascus. Quakers are pacifists, but David journeys to Egypt with his uncle's long-time companion Ebn Ezra Bey to seek justice in a land torn by violence and hatred.
Gilbert Parker was a Canadian writer and politician who taught at the Ontario School for the Deaf and Dumb and Trinity College. After travels through Australia, the Pacific, the South Sea Islands, Europe, Egypt, and Asia, he settled in London, England, where he later became involved in politics and was elected to Parliament.
In London, he wrote a number of romantic novels, largely concerned with French Canadian history and culture. He said "That I understood Canada could not be established by the fact that I had spent my boyhood there, but only by the fact that some inner vision permitted me to see it as it really was."