Cover image for Brideshead revisited
Title:
Brideshead revisited
Author:
Waugh, Evelyn, 1903-1966.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : A.A. Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 1993.

©1973
Physical Description:
xxxvii, 315 pages ; 21 cm.
Summary:
Tells the story of the difficult loves of insular Englishman Charles Ryder, and his peculiarly intense relationship with the wealthy but dysfunctional family that inhabited Brideshead. While at Oxford, Charles Ryder meets boyish, flamboyant Sebastian Flyte, who introduces Charles to a charmed and glamorous way of life that continues until Sebastian's health deteriorates.
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780679423003
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

 

Evelyn Waugh's most celebrated novel is a memory drama about the intense entanglement of the narrator, Charles Ryder, with a great Anglo-Catholic family. Written during World War II, the novel mourns the passing of the aristocratic world Waugh knew in his youth and vividly recalls the sensuous pleasures denied him by wartime austerities; in so doing it also provides a profound study of the conflict between the demands of religion and the desires of the flesh. At once romantic, sensuous, comic, and somber, Brideshead Revisited transcends Waugh's familiar satiric exploration of his cast of lords and ladies, Catholics and eccentrics, artists and misfits, revealing him to be an elegiac, lyrical novelist of the utmost feeling and lucidity.

 

The edition reprinted here contains Waugh's revisions, made in 1959, and his preface to the revised edition.


Author Notes

Born in Hampstead and educated at Oxford University, Evelyn Waugh came from a literary family. His elder brother, Alec was a novelist, and his father, Arthur Waugh, was the influential head of a large publishing house. Even in his school days, Waugh showed sings of the profound belief in Catholicism and brilliant wit that were to mark his later years.

Waugh began publishing his novels in the late 1920's. He joined the Royal Marines at the beginning of World War II and was one of the first to volunteer for commando service. In 1944 he survived a plane crash in Yugoslavia and, while hiding in a cave, corrected the proofs of one of his novels.

Waugh's early novels, Decline and Fall (1927), Vile Bodies (1930), and A Handful of Dust (1934), established him as one of the funniest and most brilliant satirists the British had seen in years. He was particularly skillful at poking fun at the scramble for prominence among the upper classes and the struggle between the generations. He lived for a while in Hollywood, about which he wrote The Loved One (1948), a scathing attack on the United States's overly sentimental funeral practices. His greatest works, however, are Brideshead Revisited (1945), which has been made into a highly popular television miniseries, and the trilogy Sword of Honor (1965), composed of Men at Arms (1952), Officers and Gentlemen (1955), and The End of the Battle (1961).

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this classic tale of British life between the World Wars, Waugh parts company with the satire of his earlier works to examine affairs of the heart. Charles Ryder finds himself stationed at Brideshead, the family seat of Lord and Lady Marchmain. Exhausted by the war, he takes refuge in recalling his time spent with the heirs to the estate before the warÄyears spent enthralled by the beautiful but dissolute Sebastian and later in a more conventional relationship with Sebastian's sister Julia. Ryder portrays a family divided by an uncertain investment in Roman Catholicism and by their confusion over where the elite fit in the modern world. Although Waugh was considered by many to be more successful as a comic than as a wistful commentator on human relationships and faith, this novel was made famous by a 1981 BBC TV dramatization. Irons's portrayal of Ryder catapulted Irons to stardom, and in this superb reading his subtle, complete characterizations highlight Waugh's ear for the aristocratic mores of the time. Fervent Anglophiles will be thrilled by this excellent rendition of a favorite; Irons's reading saves this dinosaur from being suffocated by its own weight. (Dec. 2000) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Academy award winner Jeremy Irons demonstrates impressive skill in his performance of Brideshead Revisited. From the charming yet doomed Lord Sebastian Flyte to the absurd, stuttering Anthony Blanche, Irons manages to capture the many nuances and subtleties of each character. Waugh's most successful novel, narrated by Charles Ryder, this classic of 20th-century literature re-creates a vanished world and peoples it with a vivid and believable cast. The setting is Oxford and Brideshead Castle in the 1920s through the early 1940s. From the beginning, Ryder is captivated by the fascinating Sebastian, second son of Lord Marchmain, who seems to lead a charmed life filled with friends, wealth, and a noble family. But as Charles's friendship with Sebastian deepens, Charles is pulled into a closer relationship with the Marchmains a family with more than one dark secret to hide. Highly recommended for all libraries. Theresa Connors, Arkansas Tech Univ., Russellville (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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