Brideshead Revisited (Waugh)

Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder
Evelyn Waugh, 1945
Little, Brown, & Co.
368 pp.
ISBN-13: 9780316042994


Summary
Evelyn Waugh’s most celebrated novel is a memory drama of extraordinary richness and depth. The novel Waugh thought of as his magnum opus, it is the story of the intense entanglement of a young, middle-class Englishman, Charles Ryder, with a wealthy, eccentric Anglo-Catholic family, the Marchmains: in particular, with Sebastian, the flamboyant young man Charles meets at Oxford in the 1920s; and Sebastian’s sister Julia, who will become the great and unrequited love of Charles’s life.

Written during World War II, the novel mourns the passing of the world of Waugh’s own youth, but it is also a story about religious and secular love, about the notions of sin and judgment, guilt and punishment and how, almost unaccountably, they can give shape to one’s life.

By turns romantic, sensuous, comic, and somber, Brideshead Revisited transcends Waugh’s familiar satiric exploration of English society and mores, revealing an elegiac, lyrical writer of the most lucid and profound feeling. (From the publisher.)

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