The Military Philosophers begins in early 1942 with Jenkins as a liaison officer smoothing relations between Britain and its ally Poland, working as Pennistone’s assistant in Finn’s office. Substituting for Pennistone at a meeting, Jenkins encounters Widmerpool and an embittered Templer, as well as Sunny Farebrother, now organizing clandestine operations. Jenkins visits the headquarters of Polish forces in the UK, which turn out to be housed in the same hotel where his late Uncle Giles had long resided. The driver who takes him there is the surly but striking Pamela Flitton, a niece of Stringham now about twenty years of age, who reports that her uncle has been imprisoned by the Japanese in Singapore. Jenkins is promoted to Major and becomes liaison officer to the Belgian military. Templer, after a disappointing affair that Jenkins later learns was with Flitton, vanishes into Farebrother’s secret service. Flitton moves through a series of relationships; her partners include Odo Stevens and Norah Tolland. V-1 flying bombs pummel London, but the war progresses well and the Allies land troops in Normandy. Some months later, Jenkins tours France and Belgium, meeting first Field Marshal Montgomery and then Bob Duport, who relates Templer’s death on a mission in the Balkans. By summer of the following year, Flitton has attached herself to Widmerpool and the two are engaged. News comes that Stringham has died in Asia, and during an argument, Flitton accuses Widmerpool of murdering Templer through bureaucratic indifference. Despite their fight and the essential truth of her assertion, the two marry. The war ends, and at a victory ceremony Jenkins meets a South American colonel. The man introduces his wife, who is the former Jean Duport, Jenkins’ onetime lover.
————————————————————————Tough sledding in the early stages of this one. As if we didn’t have enough names to keep straight in our heads already, now we’re supposed to sort out the internal politics of the Polish army in exile. The significance of it all escaped me for some time, but it eventually proved fascinating....Read More