"Anthony Powell is the best living English novelist by far. His admirers are addicts, let us face it, held in thrall by a magician"
Temporary Kings (1973) is the penultimate volume of Anthony Powell’s twelve-novel series “A Dance to the Music of Time” and opens in the Summer of 1958, eleven years on from Books Do Furnish a Room (Volume 10).
The star of this volume is Pamela Widmerpool who manages to trump her previous feats of outrageous behaviour. As with other volumes, new characters appear and long standing characters reappear. Despite the familiarity of so many of these characters, Powell still manages to provide surprises, along with new insights. The late X Trapnell even managing to retain a presence throughout much of this book too.
Having created the magical world of this literary masterpiece, which shines a light on relationships, personal values and social history, I cannot wait to discover how Powell wraps the saga up.
Finishing the twelfth and final volume, Hearing Secret Harmonies, will be a bittersweet moment. This has been one of the most enjoyable literary journeys I have experienced.