The second novel in Anthony Powell's brilliant twelve-novel sequence, A Dance to the Music of Time.
This, the last volume before World War II, begins with a flashback to Jenkins' boyhood at the outbreak of the Great War. The day of the Sarajevo assassination sees General and Mrs Conyers lunching with Jenkins' parents, and Uncle Giles arriving unexpectedly for tea. Equally unexpectedly, the Jenkins' cook, Albert, gives notice. This causes the parlourmaid, Billson, who loves Albert but is loved by the soldier servant, Bracey, to appear naked in the drawing room. The occultist, Dr Trelawney, and his disciples are seen out for a run.