You wonder just who the enemy is sometimes with nearly everyone obsessed with their own military careers rather than some sense of defeating an enemy. Widmerpool manages to go higher and higher but as he does so he seems to leave behind anyone that could have possibly liked him.
The other factor that starts reducing those that might have had a willingness to work with Widmerpool, regardless of his personality traits, is death. Templer appears to have snuffed it and quite a few of the other marginal characters are killed off. At this rate it should be a select and pruned cast that go into the final trio of books.
Jenkins sits at the centre describing some of the momentous events of history in reference to what is happening is his department rather than how it impacted the wider world. That is quite a genuine way of presenting it and Powell does not over do it when Jenkins manages to get a trip to the liberated parts of the French coast. Proust looms large again reminding you of the social structure that pervades the army, rather like that of Proust’s aristocratic world.
Last chunk early next week…