1 January 2019 Susannah

Evelyn Waugh & ‘Brideshead Revisited’

'Brideshead Revisited' - Evelyn Waugh

This month, my featured book is one that so many of us know and love. Did you read Brideshead Revisited before the fabulous TV series of 1981, or afterwards with images of Jeremy Irons and Anthony Andrews indelibly in your mind? It is considered one of the greatest TV series ever made, and of course, the book is just wonderful too.

Like so many viewers, I was seduced by the 1981 TV adaptation and went on from that to read the novel for the first time. In it, I discovered a rich evocation of a bygone age, a lavish tribute to the glories of Oxford and the beauties of Venice, and an intriguing portrait of an English country estate. I also found a fascinating range of characters as I followed Charles Ryder pursuing friendship and love. Like Charles, I was seduced by Brideshead’s beauty and inhabitants.

Read more about Evelyn Waugh’s life and work in my new Book of the Month section.

I always love to hear what you think.

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Featured image credit- Still from Brideshead Revisited 2008 BBC movie adaptation at imdb fan sites https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0412536/

Comments (5)


    I also read the book after the series Brideshead another book I read after seeing the film (Robert Redford) was the The Great Gatsby which led me on to a love of FS Fitzgerald books and his life and also The Testament of Youth another series that took my love of reading in another direction, Kay

  2. Susannah
    Happy New Year! Pleasant reading in 2019.

    Brideshead has always been one of my favourite books. I first read it in 1970 during my first term at Oxford, following the advice of my supervisor, and it led me on to read more Waugh. It was interesting later to read an annotated Brideshead to learn more about the models for Anthony Blanche and Sebastian Flyte and the Marchmain clan.

    I re-read Brideshead, Scoop, Vile Bodies and Decline and Fall every few years. I have first editions of Brideshead and Scoop, but not the two others which are notoriously scarce, especially in dust jackets. I also recommend The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold, a harrowing account of Waugh’s temporary insanity later in his life.
    His letters are also a good read.


    • Susannah Fullerton

      The perfect book to read as a student at Oxford. I hope you were a better behaved student than Sebastian was. It is a glorious book and I am envious of your first editions of Waugh!
      Happy reading in 2019, and I also wish you good health and good travels.

  3. I’m looking forward to reading Brideshead Revisited. I loved the tv series but can’t help smiling at a memory of my dad watching in silence then remarking, ‘that Jeremy Irons has got an easy part in this. All he has to do is chain smoke and look bored.’ I hope that memory won’t taint my reading of the novel!

    • Susannah Fullerton

      I loved your Dad’s comment. But maybe it is hard work looking THAT gorgeous?

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