It seems an odd time to go right back but Powell starts the sixth book in the Dance to the Music of Time series by returning to his family home in the year 1914. A domestic scene that is populated by a reasonably isolated parents and a handful of odd servants is used to describe domestic life on the eve of the First World War.
Jenkins is an only child and when not being looked after by his tutor discovers from his mother that the cook is leaving to get married and as a result the maid, who was holding a torch for the chef, decided to hand in her notice. The understated humour comes from the way that the woman decides to resign, by bursting in completely naked on Jenkins’s parents and their guests.
All of the talk is of war with people trying to guess when things will happen. The reference to the title and the mentioned at the start is the furies and the hope that it will be the kindly ones that have an influence. Something that sadly was never going to happen after the shooting in Sarajevo that kick starts the war.