BBC is showing a multi-segment production of Ford Maddox Ford’s Parade’s End. Although I own the book, I have yet to read it (it’s bloody long!) Production values are excellent, with sets, costumes, and acting evoking a period long past: the early 20th century around WW1. This is far more subtle than Downton Abbey and requires paying attention; some might consider it superior. One enjoys each if one does not compare.
I was struck by one section of dialogue, in which two characters are discussing different reactions to England declaring war against Germany. The man, who is high-ranking government employee, still dwells in the Victorian era, He does not want to lose that way of life...although it has ended, which he seems to not grasp. The woman is a suffragette, fighting an uphill battle against entrenched conservatives...such as this man. She has accused him of not loving his country (sound familiar, Obama fans?).
Man: “Don’t believe that. I love every field and hedgerow. The land is England and once was the foundation of order...before money took over and handed it over to the swindlers and schemers. Tories at the pigs’ trough.”
Woman: “Then what is your toryism?”
Man: “Duty. Duty and service to above and below. Frugality. Keeping your word. Honoring the past. Looking after your people. And beggaring yourself, if need be, before letting duty go hang.”
Anything sound familiar or appealing?
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.