A Flyte of Fancy

brideshead

Here is my article for The Catholic Thing for this month. It is a few thoughts on the symbolism in Evelyn Waugh’s masterpiece, Brideshead Re-Visited…and here is a piece on Brideshead for The Imaginative Conservative. A friend once observed that Brideshead could stand for the Catholic Church – the  “bride” of Christ who is the “head” of [Read More...]

Charles Ryder

charlesryder

If Lord Marchmain holds in himself all of the Flyte offspring, a friend has pointed out that Charles does as well. Sebastian the degenerate is in Charles. Julia the adulterer is in Charles, Bridey the rational, detached observer is in Charles, and in the end Cordelia, the believer is in Charles too. Charles, coming from [Read More...]

The Villain of the Piece

LordMarchmain

Is divorce a crime? One of the greatest aspects of Brideshead Revisited is to observe the results of Lord Marchmain’s abandonment of his family. He claims on his deathbed that ‘We were fighting for freedom. I took my freedom. Was that a crime?’ In a devastating moment Cordelia (as always) speaks the truth. “I think [Read More...]

The Case for Cordelia

cordelia

Consider Cordelia. Her faith is just as certain as Bridey’s, but it is faith from the heart and faith in action. What are Cordelia’s virtues? She not only has a sense of humor, she has a sense of humor about her faith: nice touch calling her pig ‘Francis Xavier’ She also has a down to [Read More...]

The Case Against Bridey

Bridey

I must first make it clear that I actually like Bridey. He’s affable enough. He’s a comic character, and is not an apparently evil person. He doesn’t do anything wrong as such…and there lies the problem: he doesn’t do anything at all. It is true that Bridey is not a drunken homosexual or an promiscuous [Read More...]

Lord Sebastian Flyte

sebastian and aloyisius

This is precisely what Sebastian does: takes flight. Why is the poor boy (who has everything) on self destruct? One of the greatest things about Brideshead Revisited is Waugh’s uncanny portrayal of the dynamic of a dysfunctional family. J.Scott Peck’s book, People of the Lie discusses the phenomenon of families who scapegoat a particular family [Read More...]


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