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The Brideshead Generation: Evelyn Waugh and His Friends
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The Brideshead Generation: Evelyn Waugh and His Friends

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  67 ratings  ·  4 reviews
'[The Brideshead Generation] has both style and substance, and is above all an enjoyable companion. It has a wildly amusing cast, here controlled by a skilful director.' Evening Standard

'Jovial and entertaining, full of the sort of stories that your friends will tell you if you don't read it before them.' Independent

'Carpenter has read widely and has collected an enormous
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Paperback, 523 pages
Published January 15th 1992 by Houghton Mifflin (P) (first published January 1st 1989)
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3.82  · 
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 ·  67 ratings  ·  4 reviews


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Justin Evans
Oct 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Charming is the word here. Carpenter does an excellent job showing us what makes this crew (Greene, Green, Waugh, Connolly, Powell, Betjeman) so attractive, without denying the genuinely silly or offensive side of their lives. The stress is on Waugh, which is probably a little unfair; even if you want to say he was the most talented of the group, it's fair to say Green, Greene and Powell all produced more impressive work- and I say this as a Waugh-lover. But you won't even notice as you read. Yo ...more
Melaszka
Oct 26, 2012 rated it liked it
I feel a bit mean only giving this 3 stars, because parts of this book are outstanding and worthy of 5 stars, but parts of it really let it down.

The opening sections, in which Carpenter paints a wide-ranging and vivid picture of the Oxford context in which Waugh was educated and illustrates the aristocratic milieu to which Waugh always yearned (never entirely successfully) to belong, cannot be faulted. Meticulous use of multiple sources, including first-hand testimony from those who were there (
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Margaret
Carpenter provides a good portrait of a talented group, including Evelyn Waugh, Anthony Powell, Graham Greene, John Betjeman, and Harold Acton, beginning with their lives at public school (usually Eton) and at Oxford. It's a little more a biography of Waugh than of the whole group, but Carpenter does keep up with the others, following them and Waugh through their careers and personal lives. It's a thoughtful and balanced portrait which made me want to read more about several of them, particularl ...more
Tim
Feb 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Waugh on novelistic structure: "A better word, except that it would always involve explanation, would be 'architectural.' I believe that what makes a writer, as distinct from a clever and cultured man who can write, is an added energy and breadth of vision which enables him to conceive and complete a structure."

The book also made me see "Brideshead" in its true light: Charles Ryder as the villain, Catholicism as the hero.
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