by Waugh, Evelyn
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Palm Beach, Florida
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About This Item
Author Evelyn Waugh wrote Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred & Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder during the handful of months following a minor parachute accident. Loosely based on Waugh’s own experiences as a student at Oxford University, the novel tells the story of Charles Ryder, a young man at Oxford who is captivated by an eccentric classmate named Sebastian Flyte and his very wealthy, Catholic family. The first half of the book is filled with teachings of beauty, booze, and witty conversation; in the second half, every one grows up and things all apart. Told in flashbacks from the days of WWII, Waugh charts the passing of the privileged world he knew in his own youth and vividly recalls the sensuous pleasures that wartime austerities denied him. While many critics believe that Waugh’s intention was to present Catholicism positively and reflect his own reasons for converting to it, many interpret the novel in the opposite light, believing that religion actually brings about the ruin of every character in the story. Brideshead Revisited is ranked 45th on BBC’s “The Big Read” survey and 80th on Modern Library’s “100 Best” English-language novels of the 20th century. It is also included in TIME’s “100 Best Novels” (since 1923) as well as Newsweek’s list of the 100 best books of world literature.
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