Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

By Evelyn Waugh

This is often the main nostalgic and reflective of Evelyn Waugh's novels, "Brideshead Revisited" seems again to the golden age earlier than the second one international struggle. It tells the tale of Charles Ryder's infatuation with the Marchmain relatives and the swiftly disappearing international of privilege they inhabit. Enchanted first through Sebastian at Oxford then by means of his doomed Catholic relations, specifically his distant sister, Julia, Charles comes eventually to acknowledge his religious and social distance from them.

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Example text

Her voice was Sebastian's and his her, way of speaking. ' 'Sebastian? Oh, he's fine. Have you had dinner? Well, I expect it was beastly. There's some more at home. ' 'Didn't he say? I expect he thought you wouldn't come if you knew. He's cracked a bone in his ankle so small that it hasn't a name. But they X-rayed it yesterday, and told him to keep it up for a month. Everyone else has gone. He tried to make me stay back with him. Well, I expect you know how maddeningly pathetic he can be. I almost gave in, and then I said: "Surely there must be someone you can get hold of," and he said everybody was away or busy and, anyway, no one else would do.

My father helped himself to a glass of barley-water and said: 'What very dull friends I have! You know, without the spur of your presence I should never have roused myself to invite them. I have been very negligent about entertaining lately. Now that you are paying me such a long visit, I will have many such evenings. ' 'No? Was it her little moustache you objected to or her very large feet? ' 'That was my impression also. I doubt if any of our guests will count this as one of their happiest evenings.

The dinner table was our battlefield. On the second evening I took my book with me to the dining-room. His mind and wandering eye fastened on it with sudden attention, and as we passed through the hall he surreptitiously left his own on a side table. When we sat down, he said plaintively: 'I do think, Charles, you might talk to me. I've had a very exhausting day. ' 'Of course, father. ' 'Cheer me up. ' 'You should, you know you really should. ' 'My dear boy, you must not let money become your master in this way.

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