Rogue Herries tells the story of the larger-than-life Francis Herries, who uproots his family from Yorkshire and brings them to live in Borrowdale, where their life is as dramatic as the landscape surrounding them.
Proud, violent, and impetuous, he despises his first wife, sells his mistress at a county fair, and forms a great love for the teenage gypsy Mirabell Starr. Alongside this turbulent story, runs that of his son David, with enemies of his own, and that of his gentle daughter, Deborah.
Newly born Judith is found in by eccentric Squire Gauntry in the chilled sombre ruin of a house on a bitter winter's night, her parents having died at her birth. With such a tenuous start, the child grows up to have an intense lust for life and curiosity for every new experience. She is the natural heir to both her parents' temperaments. With the wilfulness of her mother and the stubbornness of her father, she is redeemed by a compulsion to tell the truth and a willingness to help anyone she loves in time of trouble or distress.