Parents, friends and neighbours are convinced by Shirley, often in spite of themselves, until everybody is swept away by a belief in the miraculous power of the red-headed child. When Shirley's Guild is founded in support of her, it is a sect and a crusade, as well as a national scandal. Shirley's godmother, witness and chief interpreter all in one, is responsible for scenes unimaginable since the Dark Ages, yet all too real and true. Shirley's Guild offers an insight into the universal human need to have beliefs and find causes, however irrational, and a comment on fundamental truths that is as gripping and entertaining as it is profound. It is truly a fable for our times.