Brideshead Revisited : The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder (Paperback)

Author: Waugh, Evelyn

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Product Overview


Publisher Little Brown & Co
Mfg Part# 9780316216456
SKU 231278687
Format Paperback
ISBN10 0316216453
Release Date 12/1/2012
Author Info
Evelyn Waugh
Educated at Oxford, Waugh worked as a schoolteacher--a job he loathed--until his first novel, DECLINE AND FALL, was published in 1928. He served in the Royal Marines in World War II, stationed in Crete and Yugoslavia, the setting for his trilogy, "Sword of Honor". In 1930 he converted to Roman Catholicism; his "Catholic" novel, BRIDESHEAD REVISITED, was published in 1945. In addition to novels, Waugh also wrote nonfiction, particularly on travel. He was married twice, and was a neglectful father to several children. He spent the end of his life in the village of Combe Florey, in Somerset and died, after going to Mass, on Easter Sunday, 1966. Waugh was an often irascible, curmudgeonly personality, but his brilliantly comic satirical fiction, dissecting the British upper classes, has been not only critically acclaimed but wildly popular; the dramatization of BRIDESHEAD REVISITED by the BBC was watched fanatically by millions.
"'Brideshead Revisited' has the depth and weight that are found in a writer working in his prime, in the full powers of an eager, good mind and a skilled hand, retaining the best of what he has already learned. It tells an absorbing story in imaginative terms. By indirection it summarizes and comments upon a time and a society. It has an almost romantic sense of wonder, together with the provocative, personal point of view of a writer who sees life realistically....'Brideshead Revisited' is Mr. Waugh's finest achievement."
"Now, this reviewer may perhaps be insensitive to some value the book will have for other readers, since he is unsympathetic by conviction with the point of view of the Catholic convert, but he finds it impossible to feel the author has conveyed in all this any genuine religious experience...The comic parts...are as funny as anything he has done, and the Catholic characters are sometimes good, when they are being observed as social types, and get the same kind of relentless treatment as the characters in his satirical books."
"[H]is most carefully written and deeply felt novel . . . [T]he brightly devastating satirist of England's Twenties and Thirties moves from one world to another and a larger one: from the lunacy of a burlesqued Mayfair, very glib and funny and masking the serious point in farce, to a world in which people credibly think and feel."
"Forget the Masterpiece Theatre version, however good it was; the novel is the perfect distillation of English class-consciousness and storytelling, deeply romantic, a love story anchored in the profligate 1930s and highlighted by the experience of World War II, filled with Waugh's particular blend of wit, savagery and pure English rage. It is a major work of art, far beyond the fashionable gloss that has come to surround it."
"It is very much a child of its time. Had it not been written when it was at a very bad time in the war when there was nothing to eat, it would have been a different book. The fact that it is rich in evocative description--in gluttonous writing--is a direct result of the privations and austerity of the times..."
From the Publisher
Annotation This is Evelyn Waugh's outsider's account of a troubled aristocratic family. Charles Ryder, the narrator, is a dull and rather pompous undergraduate at Oxford when he meets Sebastian Flyte, a wealthy and sybaritic classmate. The two become improbable friends, and Sebastian brings Charles to Brideshead, his family estate, and introduces him into the circle of rich aristocratic layabouts who inhabit the place. Charles falls in love with Sebastian's sister, Julia, but religious objections (Charles is divorced, and the Flytes are Catholics) stand in the way of their marriage. Although strongly satirical in parts, and written with the savage wit for which Waugh was renowned, BRIDESHEAD REVISITED is a work of rare sensitivity and depth. The novel was made into a landmark 11-hour mini-series by the BBC in 1991, starring Jeremy Irons as Charles, Laurence Olivier as Lord Marchmain (for which he won an Emmy), Claire Bloom as Lady Marchmain, and John Gielgud as Charles's father, Edward.
Editors Note Waugh tells the story of the Marchmain family. Aristocratic, beautiful and charming, the Marchmains are indeed a symbol of England and her decline in this novel of the upper class of the 1920s and the abdication of responsibility in the 1930s.
Product Attributes
Book Format Paperback
Number of Pages 0402
Publisher Back Bay Books

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