Denis Stone, a self-conscious young poet, is invited to Crome, renowned for its gatherings of intellectuals. Hosted by Henry and Priscilla Wimbush, the house party has much to offer the naive Denis. The guests include the self-contained Anne, whom Denis adores; the handsome artist Gombauld, his rival for Anne's affections; and the cynical Mr. Scogan. All have their stories and ideas to unfold but, as Denis comes to realize, ideas cannot compensate for reality.
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