Adrift on the Tides of War
It is an irony that the dramatization of a novel may deter not spur. Instead of leading the viewer to the book, it becomes a substitute. Such a fate appears to have befallen Olivia Manning’s Fortunes of War, which in its Balkan and Levant trilogies traces the wartime travails of young Harriet and Guy Pringle as they flee the advancing Germans, first in Bucharest and Athens, then in Egypt and the Middle East. The six volumes were published to acclaim between 1960 and 1980. Yet Manning’s work is now probably better remembered as the 1987 BBC TV dramatization starring Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh.