Revisited by Evelyn Waugh begins in the years after WWI with Charles Ryder studying
at Oxford. His father provided a generous allowance; an older cousin
provides good advice. Instead of putting his nose firmly to the
grindstone, Charles develops an intense attachment to Sebastian Flyte, son of
Lord Marchmain. Sebastian takes his friend to the family home, Brideshead
Castle. Charles is agnostic; the Flyte family are devote Roman Catholics.
The Flyte family embraces dysfunctional with religious fervor. Charles
life twines in and out of their orbit. Waugh has a biting, sardonic wit;
he writes with an undercurrent of sexual tension.
— Deon Stonehouse
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 plea-sures 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.
About the Author
Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966), whom "Time" called "one of the century's great masters of English prose," wrote several widely acclaimed novels as well as volumes of biography, memoir, travel writing, and journalism. Three of his novels, "A Handful of Dust, Scoop, "and" Brideshead Revisited, " were selected by the Modern Library as among the 100 best novels of the twentieth century.