Sue's Reviews > Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder

Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
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really liked it
bookshelves: britain, classics, historical-fiction, read-2013
Recommended for: readers of classics, British 1920s and 1930s

4 1/2 *

I still can recall watching the original Brideshead on Masterpiece Theater, along with most of my friends at the time. Being enthralled with the actors, performances and story. Charles ryder will always be Jeremy Irons for me. Now I've finally read the book behind that performance and am not at all disappointed.

As I settled in to read, I was immediately struck by the language, the period phrasing and speech, and became a bit doubtful as to whether I was actually going to enjoy this book. However, doubt disappeared very quickly each time I resumed reading. Almost immediately I was back in the story, back with Charles and Sebastien or Julia or Charles' rather odd father or the many members of the Marchmain family. As always seems true, there is more depth in the book than what I recall from the film, more to ponder in my relationships with others (though I know no one with such an estate or title). That's what good reading is about and why some books become classics. They tell the tales of friendships won and lost, conflicts over ethics and morals, love and sometimes hate or simply love abandoned.

Recommended for readers of classics, period writing 1920s, 1930s British
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Reading Progress

March 14, 2013 – Shelved
March 14, 2013 – Shelved as: britain
March 14, 2013 – Shelved as: classics
March 14, 2013 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
March 15, 2013 – Started Reading
March 15, 2013 –
page 22
6.27% "I can see and almost hear Jeremy Irons in the early pages of this book. I will likely have to watch the Masterpiece series again once I've finished the book."
March 17, 2013 –
page 78
22.22% ""It seems to me that I grew younger daily with each adult habit that I acquired. I had lived a lonely childhood and a boyhood straitened by war and overshadowed by bereavement; to the hard bachelordom of English adolescence, the premature dignity and authority of the school system, i had added a sad...strain of my own. Now...with Sebastien...I was being given a brief spell of what I had never known, a happy childhood"
March 30, 2013 –
page 260
74.07% "On leaving Brideshead after a calamitous holiday, Charles reflects: Ï had left behind me---what? Youth? Adolescence? Romance? The conjuring stuff of these things,...Í have left behind illusion,' I said to myself. 'Henceforth I live in a world of three dimensions--with the aid of my five senses.\n I have since learned that there is no such world.." He wouldn't see Sebastien for years"
March 31, 2013 –
page 351
100.0% ""Something quite remote from anything the builders intended has come out of their work, and out of the fierce little human tragedy in which I played; something none of us thought about at the time: a small red flame...relit before the beaten-copper doors of the tabernacle; ...that flame burns again for other soldiers far from home...It could not have been lit but for the builders and tragedians, and there I found it."
March 31, 2013 – Shelved as: read-2013
March 31, 2013 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-14 of 14 (14 new)

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John LOL @ "rather odd father"


message 2: by Sue (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sue I enjoyed reading about Charles vacation at home from Oxford. Definitely a LOL time in the book. The dinner "party" OMG those poor guests, well poor everyone.


John I thought you meant Old Man Marchmain? Actually both he and Old man Ryder were very odd!


message 4: by Sue (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sue Yes. both were but I really got a kick out of Ryder's father.


John If you ever decide to listen to the audio version, Jeremy Irons' voicing of Anthony Blanche was a hoot!


message 6: by Sue (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sue I bet that would be good. I liked Anthony popping up periodically.

I found a playbill from my first trip to London in 1972. I saw Godspell and there in the cast list was one Jeremy Irons!! Didn't know him from Adam back then of course.


message 7: by Diane (new)

Diane Barnes I read this years ago and loved it. I'm definitely due for a re-read on this one. And I loved the Masterpiece Theater production as well. The casting was perfect!


message 8: by Sue (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sue Someday I'll watch it again. I wonder if I will like it as much!


Cecily John wrote: "I thought you meant Old Man Marchmain? Actually both he and Old man Ryder were very odd!"

Is there anyone in it who isn't rather odd? ;)


message 10: by Sue (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sue So true Cecily! When I was younger and watched the tv film I probably would have said Charles. But having read the book, I agree that everyone is odd to some degree.


William I remember reading this after the TV series, of which the first episode was spectacular.

Then in the book and the series, it's a long slide into pain and misery. I did not finish the book.


message 12: by Sue (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sue Reading it years after the tv show may have good. I think I probably liked the book better for the distance.


William Good idea!


message 14: by Sue (last edited Sep 27, 2017 10:59PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sue William wrote: "Good idea!"

Let me know if it works!

I'm just remembering I read it along with a group here at GR. If you would ever like to see that discussion, I can probably find it for you.


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