Brideshead Revisited

Waugh, Evelyn

Book - 1993
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Brideshead Revisited
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.

Publisher: New York : A.A. Knopf : Distributed by Random House, c1993
ISBN: 0679423001
Branch Call Number: FICTION WAUGH 1993
Characteristics: xxxvii, 315 p. ;,21 cm


From Library Staff

"Waugh tells the story of the Marchmain family in this novel he considered his magnus opus. As a student at Oxford, Charles Ryder is captivated by the decadent, aristocratic Sebastian Flyte, who invites him to spend time at his family home -- the magnificent Brideshead. He becomes i... Read More »

Evelyn Waugh's masterpiece immerses readers in glittering world of the English aristocracy in the last days of the empire. Young Charles Ryder's learns about life through his encounters with the wealthy Marchmain family

From the critics

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Mar 08, 2015
  • macierules rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I had put off reading this because I had seen both the movie and the TV adaptation. The book is fabulous, definitely a new favourite.

Oct 03, 2013

Not 'Anglo-Catholic' (that's an entirely different thing), but 'English Catholic'. The American poet, T. S. Eliot was an Anglo-Catholic, and not a Catholic or really English.

Sep 12, 2013
  • lorna2511 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Rich language, engaging story and characters - a true feast. I am sorry I waited so long in life to read this book. One of my best reads of all time. Thought-provoking themes of religion, class and sexuality follow all of the characters across their changing lives and fortunes. A must read - particularly if you enjoy the setting of Britain's early 20th Century or are interested in its anthropology.

Mar 28, 2013
  • bwortman rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Waugh's novel is rich in textures with truly brilliant turns of phrase suddenly appearing out of nowhere. Given that a substantial portion of the novel takes part in the 1920s, comparisons with [The Great Gatsby] are inevitable. However, the work has a distinct flavour, not only because sections occur during the 1930s and WWII, but because Charles Ryder's development is far more rich than Fitzgerald's narrator. The characters are fascinating from Sebastian and his teddy-bear, Aloysius, to Lady Marchmain and her devout Catholicism to Julia and her sparkling sadness. Ryder's attempts to understand and bond with these last standard-bearers of a society that is disappearing is equally intriguing. A novel that glimmers with the glamours of a bygone era and a reminder that "we possess nothing certainly but the past."

Sep 09, 2012
  • Stagfoot rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Waugh wrote this after becoming a Roman Catholic. hence I think the protagonist's off page conversion near the end. However, though the thread of RC duty (and guilt) is woven though the whole story, one doesn't acquire the impression that the sacred portion of Ryder's memories are bound to the Christian faith but rather to his feelings and impressions of one or two of the aristocratic Flyte family. The sacred and Profane being one and the same. I often doubt that Waugh intended it this way. It's possible there was a difference between what the writer reasoned in his head and believed in his gut, and while his head may have written in certain religious plot points, the story lives and breathes with a different intention. In any case, the world and pleasures of pre-war Oxford has been wonderfully evoked;( as is the bitterness of Ryder's middle-age) If later in the book, Waugh was able to successfully instill a sense of spiritual revelation as well as the earlier worldly remembrances, this would of been one of the greatest books of all time. As it is, it's still very good.

Mar 24, 2012

Doomed and Decadent. With a capital D.

Aug 19, 2011
  • Lanny213 rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

I read this because it is a "classic" and I have always wanted to expand my knowledge of the "good books'. I'm not sure what makes this such a good book - perhaps the TV adaptations have something to do with it.

Aug 17, 2010
  • mhuynh rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I wish I had enjoyed this classic. But sadly, I did not. Waugh's prose is too verbose for my personal taste.


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