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Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

Brideshead Revisited (1945)

by Evelyn Waugh, Jeremy Irons (Narrator)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8,306185376 (4.06)751
  1. 100
    The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (Booksloth)
  2. 90
    Howards End by E. M. Forster (readerbabe1984)
  3. 82
    Atonement by Ian McEwan (readerbabe1984)
  4. 40
    The Garden of the Finzi-Continis by Giorgio Bassani (Rebeki)
    Rebeki: Both set prior to the Second World War, with a narrator looking back on time spent with a memorable family in a memorable and evocative setting. Same sense of melancholy and nostalgia.
  5. 41
    The End of the Affair by Graham Greene (WilliamQuill)
  6. 20
    A Dance to the Music of Time: First Movement, Spring by Anthony Powell (literarysarah)
  7. 20
    Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead by Paula Byrne (librarianistbooks)
  8. 21
    The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley (Anonymous user)
  9. 21
    The Queer Feet [Short story] by G. K. Chesterton (Gregorio_Roth)
    Gregorio_Roth: Evelyn Waugh used this story by G.K. Chesterton as a basis for a number of ideas in his book.
  10. 21
    The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst (djmccord73)
    djmccord73: british families, class divisions, being an outsider, envy
  11. 00
    Missä kuljimme kerran : romaani eräästä kaupungista ja tahdostamme tulla ruohoa korkeammaksi by Kjell Westö (JustJoey4)
  12. 12
    The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford (chrisharpe)
  13. 13
    The pursuit of love by Nancy Mitford (chrisharpe)
  14. 02
    The Rules of Attraction by Bret Easton Ellis (Gregorio_Roth)
    Gregorio_Roth: Brideshead Revisited is to the 1940's as Rules of Attraction was to the 1980's.
1940s (6)
1920s (87)

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» See also 751 mentions

English (177)  Dutch (4)  Spanish (3)  German (2)  French (1)  Catalan (1)  Swedish (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (190)
Showing 1-5 of 177 (next | show all)
ambiance story ( )
  QG | Sep 11, 2015 |
Loved the beginning section in Oxford but found the relationship between Julia and Charles rather dreary. ( )
  mlfhlibrarian | Aug 9, 2015 |
"Charles," says I, "Catholicism is all bosh, wouldn't you agree?" ( )
  novewong | Jul 8, 2015 |
Like Ethan Frome and Age of Innocence, Brideshead Revisited features sympathetic but heartbreakingly human protagonists, possessing both grace and flaws, placed in a setting rife with rigid societal/religious constraints and then forced to choose between societal/religious conformity or personal happiness. I keep hoping the protagonists will choose personal happiness, but they never do.

[WARNING: TONS OF SPOILERS!] This novel features a trio of perhaps the most charismatic and tragic protagonists in literary history: gay, tormented Sebestian Flyte, his beautiful sister Julia, and family friend Charles Ryder. In Age of Innocence, it’s the rigid constructs of society that eventually bruise and break the characters. In this outing, Catholicism is the wall against which each character, one after another, tragically dashes themselves: first, Sebestian’s father, trapped by Catholicism in a loveless marriage; next, his heartbreakingly fragile son Sebastian, trying desperately to repress his homosexuality; after that Julia, who tragically discovers her love for Charles after she has married another; and finally Charles who, though a non-believer, is swept up by the tide of Marchmont tragedy and himself broken.

All of which would have you thinking of this story as rampantly anti-Catholic, except that Waugh was himself a convert to Catholicism and, accordingly, ensures that each character, though deprived of earthly happiness, ultimately rescues their hope of ultimate grace. Even Charles, the skeptic and non-believer, has by the end of the tale begun to pray. Which, I suppose, is meant to provide consolation of a sort, though not enough to keep me from tearing up throughout the final chapters.

Provided you can deal with all the tragedy, there’s much in this novel to admire and, yes, to love. The writing is gorgeous. The evocation of period is brilliant. And each of the three protagonists is hauntingly memorable – especially Sebestian, whose transformation from dazzlingly charismatic schoolboy to gentle but ravaged alcoholic adulthood is wholly riveting.

You know how some books don’t seem particularly notable at the time but as the years pass you come gradually to comprehend their wisdom and insight? I have a feeling this is going to be one of those books, and that Waugh’s insights into faith, duty, loyalty, morality, beauty, friendship and love are destined to haunt me for years to come. ( )
  Dorritt | May 25, 2015 |
During World War II, Captain Charles Ryder is surprised to find his unit at Brideshead, a place he once knew well. Ryder recalls his friendship with Sebastian Flyte during their university days, his first visit to Brideshead with Sebastian, and his relationships with the rest of Sebastian's family, particularly his sister Julia. Unlike Charles, Sebastian's family is Catholic. Some are devout, and others are lapsed. The bonds of faith prove to be more lasting than home, family, friends, or love.

I listened to the audio version read by Jeremy Irons. I doubt there is a better narrator out there for this book. I would imagine that Irons read it more than once in preparation for his role in the miniseries, and he probably has a better understanding of it than almost anyone living. At some point I want to revisit this book in print. It is filled with symbolism – religious, architectural, and artistic – and it deserves a second, closer reading. ( )
  cbl_tn | Mar 10, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 177 (next | show all)
"Lush and evocative ... the one Waugh which best expresses at once the profundity of change and the indomitable endurance of the human spirit."
added by GYKM | editThe Times
But those who disagree with him on religious or political grounds, or both, will have a time for themselves in trying to prove that his beliefs have marred his literary artistry. "Brideshead Revisited” is Mr. Waugh's finest achievement.

» Add other authors (36 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Waugh, Evelynprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Irons, JeremyNarratormain authorall editionsconfirmed
Andel, E. vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bentley,PeterCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jalvingh, LucTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rosoman, LeonardIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
I am not I; thou art not he or she; they are not they.
To Laura
First words
When I reached C Company lines, which were at the top of the hill, I paused and looked back at the camp, just coming into full view below me through the grey mist of early morning.
"I have been here before," I said; I had been there before; first with Sebastian more than twenty years ago on a cloudless day in June, when the ditches were creamy with meadowsweet and the air heavy with all the scents of summer; it was a day of peculiar splendour, and though I had been there so often, in so many moods, it was to that first visit that my heart returned on this, my latest.
 "these men must die to make a world for Hooper ... so that things might be safe for the travelling salesman, with his polygonal pince-nez, his fat, wet handshake, his grinning dentures." 
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Do not combine with the movie directed by Julian Jarrold.
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Book description
Charles Ryder, a student at Hertford College, Oxford, is befriended by Lord Sebastian Flyte, the younger son of an aristocratic family, who introduces Charles to his eccentric and aesthetic friends, including the haughty and homosexual Anthony Blanche, and takes Charles to his family's palatial home, Brideshead.
Haiku summary
makes all my friends unhappy.
Me too. Sign me up!

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0316926345, Paperback)

One of Waugh's most famous books, 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. Taking place in the years before World War II, Brideshead Revisited shows us a part of upper-class English culture that has been disappearing steadily.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:01 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

Captain Charles Ryder, stationed at Brideshead, recalls his boyhood associations with the odd but charming members of an English noble family. The story of Charles Ryder and his involvement with an aristocratic Roman Catholic English family, the Marchmains.… (more)

» see all 13 descriptions

Legacy Library: Evelyn Waugh

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6 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

5 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141182482, 0141187476, 0141045620, 0241951615, 0141193484

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