Parade's End - Netflix

Sat 22 June 2019

In the dying days of the Edwardian Empire, Christopher Tietjens enters into a destructive marriage with the beautiful but cruel socialite Sylvia.

Parade's End - Netflix

Type: Scripted

Languages: English

Status: Ended

Runtime: 60 minutes

Premier: 2012-08-24

Parade's End - No More Parades (novel) - Netflix

No More Parades is the second novel of Ford Madox Ford's highly regarded tetralogy about the First World War, Parade's End. It was published in 1925, and was extraordinarily well-reviewed.

Parade's End - Part I - Netflix

Part I deals, primarily, with Captain Christopher Tietjens at work. I.i. The novel opens with Captain Christopher Tietjens, ably helped by Sergeant-Major Cowley, trying to move a draft of 2,994 troops, among them a contingent of Canadian railway workers, from a base camp in Rouen to the trenches at the front. His efforts are blocked by having orders given and then countermanded; by having inadequate supplies for these troops from a quartermaster who profits by holding them back; by contending with a French railway strike meant to prevent the withdrawal of British troops from the front but which also prevents them from being sent to the front; and by fighting the interference of the British Garrison Police, who constantly harass the Canadian volunteers whom they willfully and mistakenly take for conscripts. Moreover, General Lord Edward Campion, Tietjens’ godfather, has assigned to his godson’s staff the shell-shocked and intermittently mad, though highly decorated, Captain McKechnie, a classical scholar and proud of it. He has just returned from divorce-leave without getting a divorce. All this while Tietjens’ hut is being shelled by the Germans, whose shrapnel kills O Nine Morgan. He bleeds to death in Tietjens’ arms—Morgan a Welsh soldier whom Tietjens had declined leave to settle matters with his unfaithful wife in Pontardulais because he would have been beaten to death there by her lover, Red Evans Williams, a prize-fighter. I.ii. The ‘All-clear’ signal is sounded: the German attack is over. Morgan’s and McKechnie’s marital troubles trigger Tietjens’ brooding on his own as he recalls his ‘excruciatingly unfaithful’ wife, Sylvia. Tietjens tries to distract McKechnie and steady his own mind by writing a sonnet for McKechnie to translate into Latin. While composing the sonnet, Tietjens attends to the problems of his draft, helping the soldiers to write their wills among other things. In the midst of intense occupation with these matters, Colonel Stanley Levin from General Campion’s staff arrives and insists on speaking privately to Tietjens, who presumes, incorrectly, that Levin wants his advice on the problems he is having with his fiancée, Mlle de Bailly, and her family. But he actually wants to talk to Tietjens about another woman altogether—one who is waiting in the general’s car to see the captain. Thoughts about Levin’s fiancée lead Tietjens to thoughts about Valentine Wannop, whom he loves totally but neglects completely, refusing to write to her while married to Sylvia. But when a Canadian soldier requests two hours leave to visit with his mother who has come to Rouen, Tietjens thinks of having two such hours with Valentine. Consequently, military work that urgently needs doing is interfered with by forces both personal and impersonal. This becomes more urgently the case when Levin tells Tietjens that the woman in the general’s car who is waiting to see him is Sylvia herself, who has pursued him across the Channel without passport or papers. I.iii. Levin offers to help Tietjens with his problems, which disgusts Tietjens completely: he would “rather be dead than an open book”—that is, rather be dead, as O Nine Morgan is, than expose his marital life to the small world that surrounds him. But Tietjens privately rehearses for himself his relationship with Sylvia, trying to organize events as a military report so as to clarify everything precisely for himself. In writing out his recollections, he in effect gives a summary of events that took place in Some Do Not . . .. He focuses particularly on Sylvia’s parting from him some ninety-eight days ago by ordering a taxi to take her to Paddington Station at 4:00 a.m. to catch a train to Birkenhead where she will enter into a nearby convent of Premonstratensian nuns for a long, if not a permanent, retreat. This to Tietjens is a sign that she is putting an end to their marriage and that he is free to pursue Valentine, whom Sylvia has contrived to have meet him the night before he leaves for France. Tietjens has time to reminisce on these matters because, although Sylvia had been waiting in the general’s car to see him, she has had herself driven away without saying a word to her husband. I.iv. Tietjens gets his Canadian soldiers bedded down for the night, feeling at the same time a strong passion for his girl and his country. These things get done in the face of what Levin tells Tietjens about the problems that Sylvia has caused General Campion, who will not stand for having “skirts” in his encampment. He hears more about troubles with women from McKechnie, who keeps him awake until 4:30 a.m. talking about his marital problems. Tietjens nevertheless gets his draft bedded down, even as he sees more trouble brewing with General O’Hara’s police who deliberately keep some of his Canadian volunteers from getting back to base on time and then arrest them. In addition, he learns that Lord Beichan, a newspaper magnate, has placed a Veterinary-Lieutenant Hochkiss in charge of “hardening” horses, and Tietjens will not stand for such brainless brutality. Consequently, with troubles developing all round him, it becomes clear to Tietjens that even though he has done better work commanding his unit than any of his peers commanding theirs and even though he is ill with bad lungs, his being sent to the front to face almost certain death seems inevitable. And over all this worry for Tietjens ‘hung the shadow of a deceased Welsh soldier’. Part I, therefore, ends as it began: with the death of O Nine Morgan.

Parade's End - References - Netflix