G.A. Henty's historical novel Pike And Dyke takes place in the 1570s. The people of the Netherlands suffer under the cruel dominion of the Spanish. Although the Dutch try to free themselves of Spanish tyranny, efforts at rebellion are thwarted. Edward "Ned" Martin, the son of an English captain and a Dutch lady, is thrust into the middle of the conflict when he resolves to help his mother's people and avenge his murdered relatives. Entering the service of the revolutionary leader William the Silent, Prince of Orange, Ned is called upon to carry out dangerous secret missions deep within occupied territory. Through narrow escapes, frightening sea fights, terrifying sieges, and, Ned becomes a witness to the inspiring and heartbreaking events of the rise of the Dutch republic.