BRIDESHEAD REVISITED by Evelyn Waugh ( 1945) read October 2009

 

Do you remember Sebastian Flyte, his Teddy bear and the undergraduate lifestyle at Oxford in the television adaptation of Brideshead revisited? On reading this book we
found it is subtitled “ The Sacred and Profound Memories of Captain Charles Ryder”. This is exactly what it is – a serious book,far removed from the satirical novels previously
written by Waugh.

 

Returning with his company to Brideshead at the end of the war Ryder looks back to the past with nostalgia and sadness. The novel explores love, religion, sin and the role of the upper classes at the turn of the century.


There was a mixed reception to this book by the group. We all agreed that it was enjoyed as an insight into this era. The excellent style of written English was particularly appreciated. Sentences are well crafted, characters made real and the descriptions are a pleasure to read. However some members of the group found the book rather dull and long winded.


It was brought to our attention that Waugh stated that he was more interested in the construction of written prose than in the story line and we felt this was obvious.