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Brideshead Revisited [Evelyn Waugh] on Brideshead Revisited and millions of other books are available for instant access. view Kindle eBook. Brideshead Revisited: Unabridged. Evelyn Waugh, Author, Jeremy Irons, Read by Caedmon $ (0p) ISBN If you read Brideshead Revisited for the first time in your teens (as so many But when you read it again, you see that Brideshead is not a book.

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Brideshead Revisited, The Sacred & Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder is a novel by .. In the United States, Brideshead Revisited was the Book of the Month Club selection for January In , the Modern Library ranked . Start by marking “Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder” as Want to Read: The most nostalgic and reflective of Evelyn Waugh's novels, Brideshead Revisited looks back to the golden age before the Second World War. Charles ryder will always be. Editorial Reviews. Review. One of Waugh's most famous books, Brideshead Revisited tells the story of the difficult loves of insular Englishman.

This book surprised me. I read it for 2 reasons. I didn't receive an answer to my second inquiry, though I did discover that Evelyn Waugh married a woman named Evelyn. How weird is that? The novel is distinctly British in tone.

His family drinks freely in front of him and maintains their usual six o'clock cocktail habits, demonstrating how vastly our ideas of addiction have changed in the last hundred years.

Brideshead Revisited

The following quote brutally captures Ryder's experience of his friend's alcoholism. A blow, expected, repeated, falling on a bruise, with no smart or shock of surprise, only a dull and sickening pain and the doubt whether another like it could be borne — that was how it felt, sitting opposite Sebastian at dinner that night, seeing his clouded eyes and groping movements, hearing his thickened voice breaking in, ineptly, after long brutish silences.

A major theme of the novel is a religious question. While our narrator is an atheist something he insists repeatedly to those around him throughout the novel the Marchmain family is Catholic and this heavily influences their relationships, as well as Ryder's experience with each of them.

Waugh uses the four Marchmain siblings — Brideshead, Sebastian, Julia, and Cordelia — to demonstrate four unique views on religion, as well as the ends to which that view may lead.

I've always been bad. Probably I shall be bad again, punished again. But the worse I am, the more I need God. I can't shut myself out from his mercy. That is what it would mean; starting a life with you, without him. The ultimate conclusion of the novel and Ryder's relationship with the Marchmain family comes to a religious crux, a spiritual and emotional decision.

And there I could suddenly see that this acknowledgement, this character's moment of realization, was what the story had been leading to all along. Critics have differed sharply here. Monsignor Ronald Knox was so much affected by Julia's monologue on sin that he proposed to quote it to the clergy of Westminster Cathedral on their "Day of Recollection", while George Orwell, who was reviewing Brideshead on his own deathbed, thought that the passing of Lord Marchmain and other kitschy scenes demonstrated the impossibility of being simultaneously grown-up and a Roman Catholic.

It can't be said that Waugh is merely propagandistically or proselytisingly Catholic in the novel: Sebastian is a doomed and sometimes vicious alcoholic, his elder brother, the devout Bridey, is an honest but ineffectual crank, his little sister Cordelia a sweet little frump who goes off to work for General Franco, and their mother a sort of ultra-glamorous witch, while all the priests are represented as either silly or simple. Nonetheless, it can't be doubted that Waugh was trying to do honour to English Catholicism and, as he later came to realise, was inadvertently engaged in commemorating the passing of its traditionalist wing.

He died as the full horror of the Second Vatican Council, with its abolition of the Latin or "Tridentine" mass, was becoming fully apparent to him. The recent rise of Josef Ratzinger might have struck him as another of the operations of divine grace. Fatally perhaps for his own cause, he thus identified the esoteric "elitism" of his religion with the "snobbery" that attached to the Marchmain lineage and its lovely country home. Sebastian Flyte describes the English Catholics as a series of "cliques", while Lord Marchmain freely allows that he himself is a caricature of "all that the socialists would have me be".

At least Waugh was unapologetic about this, saying that "the novelist deals with the experiences which excite his imagination", and adding that "class consciousness, particularly in England, has been so much inflamed nowadays that to mention a nobleman is like mentioning a prostitute 60 years ago.

The new prudes say: 'No doubt such people do exist but we would rather not hear about them. The test is not characters so much as characterisation. One of Waugh's best minor figures is anything but aristocratic: the hapless clerk Hooper could have been invented by Charles Dickens or Arnold Bennett in a spare moment.

Ryder plays a word-game with his name, changing the fashionable word "Youth" in modern discourse to the word "Hooper" and thus coming up with "Hooper Rallies", "Hooper Hostels" and suchlike.

Fair enough. But then try this, from Charles's first lunch with Sebastian: He was magically beautiful, with that epicene quality which in extreme youth sings aloud for love and withers at the first cold wind. Or this, during the stolen summer holiday that leaves the naughty boys with Brideshead Castle all to themselves: The languor of Youth - how unique and quintessential it is! How quickly, how irrecoverably, lost! The zest, the generous affections, the illusions, the despair, all the traditional attributes of Youth - all save this - come and go with us through life In this rather sickly passage the word is even capitalised, but I doubt that Waugh wanted us, while the golden lads were splashing and romping, to substitute the word "Hooper" for it.

So, if you must seek a conviction for "elitism", look to the language and not to the sociology.

Revisited book brideshead

Look to the language, also, if you want to guess at meanings that may be only semi-conscious in the writer's own mind: when Waugh tells us that "the sweet scent of the tobacco merged with the sweet summer scents around us and the fumes of the sweet, golden wine seemed to lift us a finger's breadth above the turf", does he intend the slightly saccharine repetition or is he unaware that he is being a little too It comes as a shock to discover that Waugh nearly called Charles Ryder by the surname of Fenwick, and almost gave Cordelia the first name Bridget.

Such is the power of a great novel to make us feel that we own it almost as private property, as it were, and must resent any intrusion on our intimacy with it. But evidently he gave some care and reflection to nomenclature.

In one of his literary essays on sacred subjects, Father Robert Barron proposes that because "St Paul told the Corinthians that Christ is the Head of His Body the Church and, shifting the metaphor, that Jesus is the Bridegroom and the Church the Bride", it follows that Waugh fuses these two Pauline images of Head and Bride to create the gracious mansion that lies at the core of the story.

This may be plausible the two images are widely separated in the Bible but I feel on surer ground in proposing my profane counterpart to Barron's sacred one. In the very name of Sebastian Flyte there is either a very great ingenuity or a very strong subliminal element.

Recall the way in which Anthony Blanche says to him, with obvious flirtatiousness: "My dear, I should like to stick you full of barbed arrows like a p-p-pin-cushion".

Book brideshead revisited

Here the reference to the martyrdom of St Sebastian is obvious enough, and then it might occur to you - as it only did to me after several rereadings - that the word "flight" also happens to be the collective noun for a shower of arrows.

Pressing home with this analogy, one hits upon what may be the chief source of Brideshead's potency. It couldn't have happened but for that. They also include Sebastian, whose three beloved uncles were all slain in the hecatombs "between Mons and Passchendaele", and whose dominating mother is consecrated to upholding their memory.

Her first approach to the sycophantic don Mr Samgrass - later to be appointed as Sebastian's informal keeper - is as a house-historian of this dynastic bereavement. Once you start to notice it, the fields of Flanders and Gallipoli begin to pervade the story. In Venice, Sebastian looks up at the statue of the mercenary Bartolomeo Colleoni and says: "It's rather sad to think that whatever happens you and I can never possibly get involved in a war.

Other chaps fought, millions of them dead. An otherwise charming and attractive companion, he numbs himself with alcohol. He forms a deep friendship with Charles. Over time, however, the numbness brought on by alcohol becomes his main desire. He is thought to be based on Alastair Hugh Graham whose name was mistakenly substituted for Sebastian's several times in the original manuscript , Hugh Patrick Lygon and Stephen Tennant. Charles loves her for much of their lives, due in part to her resemblance to her brother Sebastian.

Julia refuses at first to be controlled by the conventions of Roman Catholicism, but turns to it later in life. Lady Cordelia Flyte — The youngest of the siblings is the most devout and least conflicted in her beliefs. She aspires solely to serve God. His background is unclear but there are hints that he may be of Italian or Spanish extraction. Of all the characters, Anthony has the keenest insight into the self-deception of the people around him. Although he is witty, amiable and always an interesting companion, he manages to make Charles uncomfortable with his stark honesty, flamboyance and flirtatiousness.

Families in Literature: the Flytes in Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh | Books | The Guardian

The character is mainly based on Brian Howard , a contemporary of Waugh at Oxford and flamboyant homosexual, although the scene in which Blanche declaims extracts from The Waste Land through a megaphone from his upper-storey college window was inspired by Harold Acton. Brash, bumbling and thoughtless, he personifies the privileged hauteur of the British aristocracy. As with Lord Brideshead, his Christian name is never revealed.

Lady Celia Ryder — Charles's wife, "Boy" Mulcaster's sister, and Julia's former schoolmate; a vivacious and socially active beauty. Charles marries her largely for convenience, which is revealed by Celia's infidelities. Charles feels freed by Celia's betrayal and decides to pursue love elsewhere, outside of their marriage.

Through his marriage to Julia, he connects to the Marchmains as another step on the ladder to the top. He is disappointed with the results, and he and Julia agree to lead separate lives. Samgrass uses his connections with the aristocracy to further his personal ambitions.

Cara — Lord Marchmain's Italian mistress. She is very protective of Lord Marchmain and is forthright and insightful in her relationship with Charles.

Brideshead Revisited: Unabridged

Minor characters[ edit ] Jasper — Charles's cousin, who gives him advice about student life at Oxford, which Charles ignores. Kurt — Sebastian's German friend. A deeply inadequate ex-soldier with a permanently septic foot due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound whom Sebastian meets in Tunisia, a man so inept that he needs Sebastian to look after him. Mrs Beryl Muspratt — The widow of an admiral, she meets and marries a smitten Brideshead, but never becomes mistress of the great house.

Waugh's statements about the novel[ edit ] Waugh wrote that the novel "deals with what is theologically termed 'the operation of Grace', that is to say, the unmerited and unilateral act of love by which God continually calls souls to Himself".

In various letters, Waugh himself refers to the novel a number of times as his magnum opus ; however, in he wrote to Graham Greene stating "I re-read Brideshead Revisited and was appalled.

Book brideshead revisited

He was mildly disparaging of the novel, stating; "It was a bleak period of present privation and threatening disaster — the period of soya beans and Basic English — and in consequence the book is infused with a kind of gluttony, for food and wine, for the splendours of the recent past, and for rhetorical and ornamental language which now, with a full stomach, I find distasteful. The bulk of the serial was directed by Charles Sturridge , with a few sequences filmed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg.

John Mortimer was given a credit as writer, but most of the scripts were based on work by producer Derek Granger. This version was adapted for radio by Jeremy Front and directed by Marion Nancarrow. The recording is References in other media[ edit ] In scene 2 of Tom Stoppard 's play Arcadia , one character refers to another character who attends Oxford as "Brideshead Regurgitated. In the early s, following the release of the television series, the Australian Broadcasting Commission from , Australian Broadcasting Corporation produced a radio show called Brunswick Heads Revisited.

Brunswick Heads is a coastal town in northern New South Wales.

Revisited book brideshead