Spanning a 50-year period, Anthony Powell’s masterpiece deploys a cast of over 300 characters, and sweeps us from the upper-class milieux of the 1920s to the rise of hippiedom in the 1960s. In Winter, an ageing Jenkins, his wit grown more insightful and mature, moves between the literary and political worlds of London. From the marital upheavals of the Widmerpools, to the rise of hippiedom in the late sixties, this is an appropriately blackly comic and sweeping conclusion to Powell’s magnum opus.
Part of the pleasure of Anthony Powell’s writing is how completely he inhabits the period of his novel, referring to paintings, films and even advertising that capture his characters’ attention. A selection of carefully researched images, from contemporary advertisements to famous paintings, is used to illustrate the books. Some provide a visual reference for the many allusions made in the novel to places, paintings, films and plays, some are photographs of the real-life models for Powell’s characters and others convey the period setting.