It is the middle of the nineteenth century. Brothers William and Robert Crossley both seek refuge from the severe discipline of their father in their very different dreams. William wishes to stay in their hometown of Northampton and follow his uncle as the town’s best watch and clock maker. Robert longs to get away and become famous. William defies his father and refuses to take the Cambridge entrance examination. Robert finds a tutor in the Vicar of Upstone, who not only prepares him for the examination, but also leads him in the creation of a seminal mathematical theorem. Robert finds fame and fortune through the work.
But Robert’s authorship of the theorem is questioned. The President of the Royal Society sends Edward Pennington, a distinguished mathematician, and Doctor Clara Cox, to investigate. They uncover secrets that not only change themselves, but also have unforeseen consequences for the whole Crossley family.