The basis for the famous PBS television series starring Jeremy Irons and Anthony Andrews, Evelyn Waugh's bestselling classic is now available as an eBook. Spanning the 1920's through the 1940's, narrator Charles Ryder becomes entranced with the noble Marchmain family, first through the charming and provocative Sebastian Marchmain, and then his sophisticated sister, Julia. The rise and fall of Charles's infatuations reflects Waugh's genius in capturing the decline of a decadent era in England between the wars.
In this classic tale of British life between the World Wars, Waugh parts company with the satire of his earlier works to examine affairs of the heart. Charles Ryder finds himself stationed at Brideshead, the family seat of Lord and Lady Marchmain. Exhausted by the war, he takes refuge in recalling his time spent with the heirs to the estate before the war--years spent enthralled by the beautiful but dissolute Sebastian and later in a more conventional relationship with Sebastian's sister Julia. Ryder portrays a family divided by an uncertain investment in Roman Catholicism and by their confusion over where the elite fit in the modern world. Although Waugh was considered by many to be more successful as a comic than as a wistful commentator on human relationships and faith, this novel was made famous by a 1981 BBC TV dramatization. Irons's portrayal of Ryder catapulted Irons to stardom, and in this superb reading his subtle, complete characterizations highlight Waugh's ear for the aristocratic mores of the time. Fervent Anglophiles will be thrilled by this excellent rendition of a favorite; Irons's reading saves this dinosaur from being suffocated by its own weight. (Dec. 2000) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.