The Valley Of Bones

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The seventh novel in Anthony Powell’s brilliant twelve-novel sequence, A Dance to the Music of Time. Early in 1940 Jenkins joins his regiment in Wales as a second lieutenant. We are introduced to his commanding officer, the officious Captain Gwatkin, and the alcoholic Lieutenant Bithel. The battalion is moved to Northern Ireland where Gwatkin disastrously muddles instructions during an exercise and there is a snap inspection by General Liddament. En route to a training course at Aldershot Nick makes friends with David Pennistone. At Aldershot, Jenkins meets Odo Stevens and also Jimmy Brent who gives an account of his affair with Jean. Stevens gives Nick a lift to spend weekend leave at Frederica Budd’s house, where his wife Isobel, Robert Tolland and Priscilla are all staying. Robert Tolland’s leave is suddenly cancelled. Meanwhile Stevens has made a hit with Priscilla…

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