In late-'80s Britain, Porterhouse College Cambridge is an anachronism, its students uniformly male and (in the vast number of cases) privately educated. When the incumbent Master dies (from a stroke brought on by overeating) the government revenges itself on Porterhouse by appointing as his successor an old graduate, the politician Sir Godber Evans. One of the tiny minority of state-school students the college has had forced on it over the years, Evans returns to his alma mater determined to drag this bastion of privilege into the twentieth century. The elderly academic staff cease their bickering and close ranks against him, but the new Master finds his most implacable and unscrupulous opponent in Skullion, the college porter.
A dramatic history of Pu Yi, the last of the Emperors of China, from his lofty birth and brief reign in the Forbidden City, the object of worship by half a billion people; through his abdication, his decline and dissolute lifestyle; his exploitation by the invading Japanese, and finally to his obscure existence as just another peasant worker in the People's Republic.
Expecting the usual tedium that accompanies a summer in the Catskills with her family, 17-year-old Frances "Baby" Houseman is surprised to find herself stepping into the shoes of a professional hoofer -- and unexpectedly falling in love.