Gloriana rules an Albion whose empire embraces America and most of Asia. A new Golden Age of peace, enlightenment and prosperity has dawned. Gloriana is Albion and Albion is Gloriana; if one falls, so too will the other. And Gloriana is oppressed by the burden this places upon her - and by the fact that she remains incapable of orgasm.
The maintenance of the delicate balance that keeps Albion and Gloriana thriving depends on Montfallcon, Gloriana's Chancellor, and on his network of spies and assassins - in particular on Quire, cold hearted seducer of virtue and murderer of innocence. When Quire falls out with Montfallcon, he forms an alliance with his greatest enemy and conceives a plan to ruin Gloriana, destroy Albion, the empire and the Golden Age itself.
But even the utterly ruthless Quire does not fully understand what he has set in motion when he persuades the Queen to fall in love with him...
Moorcock's masterly evocation of Gloriana's strange and secretive palace and of a vibrant London make this one of his most powerful and memorable novels.