Parade’s End, BBC Two
Not having read the books, I feel compelled
To ask if the adaptation has flattened
The prose. I’ve seen the four novels upheld
As modernist masterworks, but this tends,
In the first part at least, towards Dickensian
Realism, filled with comic types & foils,
A Becky Sharp villain, & a Causabonian
Hero, though seemingly lacking social broil.
Does it fracture, when the war comes? Will Hall’s
Drawing room Edwardian flaws (conspicuous
In her first mannered scene) bed down to awe,
& confusion at the sublime oblivious
Pow’r of the world mechanism? Or did they
Mislead, is it nowhere near ‘Mrs Dalloway’?