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Reading Group Book Club on Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh

PopUK Book Club: The End of Brideshead Revisited

Welcome back, members of the PopUK Book Club. We've discussed the first section and the second section of Evelyn Waugh's novel, so now it's time to talk about Book Three: "Brideshead Revisited" and the Epilogue.

A quick reminder of how the Book Club works: each week I'll suggest a section to complete by the following Monday, and will post a few questions to start our discussion in the comments section.

It's quite the Brideshead week, what with the film version hitting UK cinema screens on Friday; I'm intrigued about how they'll fit in all that action. I'll also bring you my review of the rereleased DVD of the ITV series tomorrow.

After the jump you'll find some questions and topics to get the discussion started, but feel free to write about whatever you found interesting.

Ready to discuss the ending of Brideshead Revisited? Just read more.

  1. As the novel moves towards World War II, how do you think historical events start to affect the plot and the characters?
  2. When Lord Marchmain returns to Brideshead he replaces his late wife as the controlling force, although he is physically very weak. Why does he have such power?
  3. Religion becomes one of the main forces in shaping the characters' decisions and the plot. What are your thoughts on Cordelia's views, Sebastian's "holiness", and Julia and Charles's "sinful" relationship?
  4. Charles says: "[Sebastian] was with me daily in Julia; or rather it was Julia I had known in him, in those distant Arcadian days". What do you make of Charles's relationships?
  5. When Charles describes events as if they were a play, Julia says: "Why must you see everything second-hand? Why must this be a play? Why must my conscience be a pre-Raphaelite picture?" What role does representation play, from Charles's paintings to the structure of the novel being his retelling of events?
  6. What do you make of the ending, and the comment that Charles seems "unusually cheerful" following his visit to the house and the chapel at Brideshead? How does his view of the house, and the Flytes, and religion, change over the course of the novel?

Stay tuned for the announcement of the October selection for our PopUK Book Club!

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