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21:49 

misterhippity: Here is what Brideshead Revisited did for the...

Brideshead
contra mundum


misterhippity:



Here is what Brideshead Revisited did for the name Sebastian.


What has your favorite television show done lately?





@: I like getting drunk at luncheons, films, sebastian

URL
05:55 

peutetreoui: Castle Howard, England. by daylong on Flickr.

Brideshead
contra mundum
URL
05:28 

nolitafairytales: Castle Howard Interior (by DrRob)

Brideshead
contra mundum


nolitafairytales:



Castle Howard Interior (by DrRob)





@: brideshead, films, i am not i

URL
03:32 

abadcoverversion: Just another shot of the Atlas Fountain at...

Brideshead
contra mundum


abadcoverversion:



Just another shot of the Atlas Fountain at Castle Howard, Id forgotten about this one





@: brideshead, films, i am not i

URL
02:17 

scrabblesaturdays: I waspleasantlysurprised to find out that...

Brideshead
contra mundum


scrabblesaturdays:



I was pleasantly surprised to find out that these scenes from Brideshead Revisited (1981) were filmed in Malta (thats where I live, If by now you havent realized), supposedly as Morocco.





@: films, geography, mini-series

URL
03:05 

allthingseurope: Castle Howard, England (by tricky )

Brideshead
contra mundum


allthingseurope:



Castle Howard, England (by tricky )





@: brideshead, films

URL
22:01 

scratchesofink: Castle Howard. England. most of it was built...

Brideshead
contra mundum


scratchesofink:



Castle Howard. England.


most of it was built from 1699-1712.





@: 2008, brideshead, films, mini-series

URL
05:00 

scratchesofink: Castle Howard. England not really a castle....

Brideshead
contra mundum


scratchesofink:



Castle Howard. England


not really a castle. (well thats a little bit of false advertising, huh?)





@: 2008, brideshead, films, mini-series

URL
02:00 

scratchesofink: Castle Howard, England. Destination 40. one of...

Brideshead
contra mundum


scratchesofink:



Castle Howard, England. Destination 40.


one of the grandest private residencies in Britain.





@: mini-series, films, brideshead, 2008

URL
03:10 

Castle Howard and the Myth of "Brideshead Revisited"

Brideshead
contra mundum

By Steve Bergsman


I started reading the books of the English writer Evelyn Waugh just a few years ago when I discovered his dry British humor and sardonic observations in such books as Scoop and Vile Bodies. I never picked up his most popular novel, Brideshead Revisited, however, for two reasons: It was a more serious turn of literature for Waugh, and I had seen the popular Masterpiece Theater production starring Jeremy Irons when it appeared on U.S. television in the early 1980s as well as the more recent cinematic production starring Emma Thompson.


Both productions used the same manor house, Castle Howard outside York, England, as the location for what cinematically was called Brideshead. Although it is still in use today as the home of Simon Howard and his family, the mansion is open for visitation. The day I was there, the parking lot was full of people who had come to walk through the extensive grounds and gardens, to visit an extraordinary mansion with its great art, and to see a home so closely associated with Brideshead Revisited and its cinematic incarnations.


When I asked a tour guide whether Castle Howard was the location Waugh had in mind when he wrote or the association came later, his response was, Certain references to Brideshead in the book suggest this home was the inspiration for the fictional manse, but there is no record of Waugh ever visiting Castle Howard before writing his book.


The real Castle Howard, as opposed to the fictional Brideshead, boasts a life worthy of a good book. It was designed in 1699 by Sir John Vanbrugh, a playwright who had never designed a home, and it took more than 100 years to complete. In 1940, a fast-moving fire destroyed the manors magnificent dome, numerous rooms and artwork that was priceless nine Canalettos disappeared in the conflagration. The house was then boarded up.


George Howard returned home after service in World War II and decided to restore the family property. Much of the restoration has been accomplished, including the dome, but there are still rooms and spaces undone and that is one of the reasons Granada Television in 1981 and Hollywood in 2008 came calling. They were able to use the empty spaces to create fictional Brideshead rooms while using the remainder of the home, exterior, grounds and gardens for other shots.


My iconic memory of both cinematic versions of the story is the first time the protagonist, Charles Ryder, arrives with Sebastian Flyte, his university friend, to Flytes home and sees the grandeur of the mansion for the first time.


A two-lane road cuts through grounds of the estate for what seems like a mile or more, then passes through gates in the various walls before the building, partly obscured by trees, appears in the distance. Today visitors enter through a ticket office that was once the propertys stable and courtyard. Once through the gates, however, in the distance sits Castle Howard in all its glory. Its a five- to 10-minute walk to the home, depending on how fast one walks and whether one is diverted by the walled gardens. In the center of the formal gardens sits the Atlas Fountain, an important venue in both film versions of the Brideshead story.


The entryway to the home is at the head of the wing to the right of real main entrance.


<sript language=javasript src=adserver.adtechus.com/addyn/3.0/5235/1290674/0/... onClick=return adgo(5512,7495,this.href); href=adserver.adtechus.com/adlink/3.0/5235/1290674/0... target=_blank;key=key1+key2+key3+key4;grp=52810><img src=adserver.adtechus.com/adserv/3.0/5235/1290674/0... border=0 width=300 height=250></a></noscript>

This is a good place to start because the stairwell leading up to the second floor is lined with the grand portraits of the first six Earls of Carlisle. It was the third Earl of Carlisle who built the castle, which appears in the background of his painting. The last Earl of Carlisle to live in the home was the ninth. He died in the 20th century, and through complicated family bequests, the home ended up with the Howard family.


The first actual room one enters is the bedroom of Lady Georgiana, Countess of Carlisle, who was pregnant every 18 months from 1802 to 1825. The room adjacent to the Georgiana bedroom was originally the dressing room. Now it is a bedroom in the style of 1884, when it was redecorated by the ninth Countess of Carlisle. The furnishings look to be original, and a painting by Gainsborough hangs on the wall.


The artist with the most works of art in the home is Mario Ricci, a Venetian landscape artist who was commissioned to do work at Castle Howard during the years 1709-1710. Probably the second most exhibited painter is George James Howard, who was also the ninth Earl of Carlisle and resident of the house.


Many of the paintings at Castle Howard were acquired by Frederick, the fifth Earl of Carlisle. In 1798, he and two other patrons acquired the Italian paintings from the Orleans collection; among the pictures exhibited were Titians, Raphaels and Leonardos. A number of these paintings have since been donated to the nation.


The Castle Howard collection is still first-rate. As I wandered through the rooms, I saw paintings by some of Englands greatest artists, including Gainsborough and Constable, as well as works by Hans Holbein, Joshua Reynolds, Rubens and Canaletto.


The artwork is just a part of the homes attractions. Antiquities, Roman sculpture and period furniture are also on exhibit. I had to keep reminding myself that people actually live in this house.


A key plot point for Waughs hero apart from his affairs with the siblings was his deep regard for the house itself. After being turned away from the property by the stern Flyte matriarch, Ryder doesnt return again until the war, when the home is being used by the British army and he finds himself stationed there.


Ryders love for Julia is resurrected after the war. In real life, the house and grounds, too, were resurrected post-war, a happy ending for the fictional Brideshead and the non-fictional Castle Howard.



IF YOU GO


Unless youre a guest of the Howards, the best option is to stay at a nearby bed and breakfast. I chose the No9 Luxury Bed & Breakfast in Pickering, about 15 minutes away, where I was greeted with a tray of tea and cakes when I arrived. Its a great location because you can easily walk into the village for dinner: www.no9pickering.co.uk.





Steve Bergsman is a freelance travel writer. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.


COPYRIGHT 2009 CREATORS.COM.




@: 2008, brideshead, films, i am not i, mini-series

URL
03:10 

Castle Howard and the Myth of "Brideshead Revisited"

Brideshead
contra mundum

By Steve Bergsman


I started reading the books of the English writer Evelyn Waugh just a few years ago when I discovered his dry British humor and sardonic observations in such books as Scoop and Vile Bodies. I never picked up his most popular novel, Brideshead Revisited, however, for two reasons: It was a more serious turn of literature for Waugh, and I had seen the popular Masterpiece Theater production starring Jeremy Irons when it appeared on U.S. television in the early 1980s as well as the more recent cinematic production starring Emma Thompson.


Both productions used the same manor house, Castle Howard outside York, England, as the location for what cinematically was called Brideshead. Although it is still in use today as the home of Simon Howard and his family, the mansion is open for visitation. The day I was there, the parking lot was full of people who had come to walk through the extensive grounds and gardens, to visit an extraordinary mansion with its great art, and to see a home so closely associated with Brideshead Revisited and its cinematic incarnations.


When I asked a tour guide whether Castle Howard was the location Waugh had in mind when he wrote or the association came later, his response was, Certain references to Brideshead in the book suggest this home was the inspiration for the fictional manse, but there is no record of Waugh ever visiting Castle Howard before writing his book.


The real Castle Howard, as opposed to the fictional Brideshead, boasts a life worthy of a good book. It was designed in 1699 by Sir John Vanbrugh, a playwright who had never designed a home, and it took more than 100 years to complete. In 1940, a fast-moving fire destroyed the manors magnificent dome, numerous rooms and artwork that was priceless nine Canalettos disappeared in the conflagration. The house was then boarded up.


George Howard returned home after service in World War II and decided to restore the family property. Much of the restoration has been accomplished, including the dome, but there are still rooms and spaces undone and that is one of the reasons Granada Television in 1981 and Hollywood in 2008 came calling. They were able to use the empty spaces to create fictional Brideshead rooms while using the remainder of the home, exterior, grounds and gardens for other shots.


My iconic memory of both cinematic versions of the story is the first time the protagonist, Charles Ryder, arrives with Sebastian Flyte, his university friend, to Flytes home and sees the grandeur of the mansion for the first time.


A two-lane road cuts through grounds of the estate for what seems like a mile or more, then passes through gates in the various walls before the building, partly obscured by trees, appears in the distance. Today visitors enter through a ticket office that was once the propertys stable and courtyard. Once through the gates, however, in the distance sits Castle Howard in all its glory. Its a five- to 10-minute walk to the home, depending on how fast one walks and whether one is diverted by the walled gardens. In the center of the formal gardens sits the Atlas Fountain, an important venue in both film versions of the Brideshead story.


The entryway to the home is at the head of the wing to the right of real main entrance.


<sript language=javasript src=adserver.adtechus.com/addyn/3.0/5235/1290674/0/... onClick=return adgo(5512,7495,this.href); href=adserver.adtechus.com/adlink/3.0/5235/1290674/0... target=_blank;key=key1+key2+key3+key4;grp=52810><img src=adserver.adtechus.com/adserv/3.0/5235/1290674/0... border=0 width=300 height=250></a></noscript>

This is a good place to start because the stairwell leading up to the second floor is lined with the grand portraits of the first six Earls of Carlisle. It was the third Earl of Carlisle who built the castle, which appears in the background of his painting. The last Earl of Carlisle to live in the home was the ninth. He died in the 20th century, and through complicated family bequests, the home ended up with the Howard family.


The first actual room one enters is the bedroom of Lady Georgiana, Countess of Carlisle, who was pregnant every 18 months from 1802 to 1825. The room adjacent to the Georgiana bedroom was originally the dressing room. Now it is a bedroom in the style of 1884, when it was redecorated by the ninth Countess of Carlisle. The furnishings look to be original, and a painting by Gainsborough hangs on the wall.


The artist with the most works of art in the home is Mario Ricci, a Venetian landscape artist who was commissioned to do work at Castle Howard during the years 1709-1710. Probably the second most exhibited painter is George James Howard, who was also the ninth Earl of Carlisle and resident of the house.


Many of the paintings at Castle Howard were acquired by Frederick, the fifth Earl of Carlisle. In 1798, he and two other patrons acquired the Italian paintings from the Orleans collection; among the pictures exhibited were Titians, Raphaels and Leonardos. A number of these paintings have since been donated to the nation.


The Castle Howard collection is still first-rate. As I wandered through the rooms, I saw paintings by some of Englands greatest artists, including Gainsborough and Constable, as well as works by Hans Holbein, Joshua Reynolds, Rubens and Canaletto.


The artwork is just a part of the homes attractions. Antiquities, Roman sculpture and period furniture are also on exhibit. I had to keep reminding myself that people actually live in this house.


A key plot point for Waughs hero apart from his affairs with the siblings was his deep regard for the house itself. After being turned away from the property by the stern Flyte matriarch, Ryder doesnt return again until the war, when the home is being used by the British army and he finds himself stationed there.


Ryders love for Julia is resurrected after the war. In real life, the house and grounds, too, were resurrected post-war, a happy ending for the fictional Brideshead and the non-fictional Castle Howard.



IF YOU GO


Unless youre a guest of the Howards, the best option is to stay at a nearby bed and breakfast. I chose the No9 Luxury Bed & Breakfast in Pickering, about 15 minutes away, where I was greeted with a tray of tea and cakes when I arrived. Its a great location because you can easily walk into the village for dinner: www.no9pickering.co.uk.





Steve Bergsman is a freelance travel writer. To read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.


COPYRIGHT 2009 CREATORS.COM.




@: 2008, brideshead, films, i am not i, mini-series

URL
02:24 

Castle Howard On Film

Brideshead
contra mundum

Since the 1960s, Castle Howard has been used as a location for many film and television productions. The house, the beautiful grounds and wider estate are all ideal settings for costume dramas, feature films and documentaries. These pages have information on Castle Howards starring role on the big screen.

If you are interested in using Castle Howard as a location please visit our Location Filming & Photography pages.


Brideshead Revisited (2008)
Ecosse Films production of Evelyn Waughs novel, directed by Julian Jarrold (Becoming Jane) and produced by Robert Bernstein and Douglas Rae together with Kevin Loader. The film has been adapted for the screen by Andrew Davies (Bridget Jones Diary, Bleak House) and Jeremy Brock (The Last King of Scotland). With Ben Whishaw as Sebastian Flyte, Matthew Goode as Charles Ryder, Hayley Atwell as Julia Flyte, with Michael Gambon and Emma Thompson as Lord and Lady Marchmain.

Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties (2006)
Jon Arbuckle (Breckin Meyer) travels to the United Kingdom, and he brings his cat, Garfield (voiced by Bill Murray), along for the trip. A case of mistaken cat identity finds Garfield ruling over a castle (Castle Howard), but his reign is soon jeopardized by the nefarious Lord Dargis (Billy Connolly), who has designs on the estate.

Great Estates (2000, 2001)
A series of hugely popular documentaries about Castle Howard and other estates in England, that provided a fascinating glimpse into all aspects of life at Castle Howard indoors, outdoors and behind the scenes.

A Year in the Life of Castle Howard (1996)
A six-part documentary on the Castle Howard.

The Buccaneers (1994)
A BBC production of Edith Whartons novel of the 19th century encounter between English aristocracy and wealthy American heiresses. Because of their new money background, four American girls have difficulty breaking into the upper-crust society of New York. Laura Testvalley, the governess of one of the girls, suggests a London season and thus the young women set sail for England and the unsuspecting English aristocracy.

Twelfth Night (1978)
A BBC production of one of Shakespeares most popular comedies, and surprisingly the only time Castle Howard has been used for a Shakespeare play.

Brideshead Revisited (1981)
Granada TVs production of Evelyn Waughs novel, starring Anthony Andrews, Jeremy Irons and Diana Quick, has achieved mythic status as one of the great costume dramas of all time. Although it is not certain that Waugh identified his Brideshead with Castle Howard, for many people the two buildings have come to epitomise a nostalgia for England before the Second World War.

Barry Lyndon (1975)

Directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on the novel by William Thackeray. Redmond Barry is a young, roguish Irishman whos determined, in any way, to make a life for himself as a wealthy nobleman. Enlisting in the British Army, fighting in the Seven Years War in Europe, Barry deserts from the British army, joins the Prussian army, gets promoted to the rank of a spy, then becomes pupil to a Chevalier and con artist.

The Spy With a Cold Nose (1966)
A spoof cold war spy thriller starring Lawrence Harvey with Castle Howard masquerading as the Kremilin in Moscow. The Russian Premier is presented with a British bulldog that has been fitted with a transmitter by Dr. Francis Trevelyan (Laurence Harvey).

Lady L (1965)

Directed by Peter Ustinov, and starring David Niven, Sophia Loren and Paul Newman in a tale of European anarchists and aristocrats. Lady Louise Lendale (Sophia Loren) is 80 years old and tells her long time admirer, British poet Sir Percy (Cecil Parker), all about her eventful life.




@: 2008, brideshead, films, i am not i, mini-series

URL
02:24 

Castle Howard On Film

Brideshead
contra mundum

Since the 1960s, Castle Howard has been used as a location for many film and television productions. The house, the beautiful grounds and wider estate are all ideal settings for costume dramas, feature films and documentaries. These pages have information on Castle Howards starring role on the big screen.

If you are interested in using Castle Howard as a location please visit our Location Filming & Photography pages.


Brideshead Revisited (2008)
Ecosse Films production of Evelyn Waughs novel, directed by Julian Jarrold (Becoming Jane) and produced by Robert Bernstein and Douglas Rae together with Kevin Loader. The film has been adapted for the screen by Andrew Davies (Bridget Jones Diary, Bleak House) and Jeremy Brock (The Last King of Scotland). With Ben Whishaw as Sebastian Flyte, Matthew Goode as Charles Ryder, Hayley Atwell as Julia Flyte, with Michael Gambon and Emma Thompson as Lord and Lady Marchmain.

Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties (2006)
Jon Arbuckle (Breckin Meyer) travels to the United Kingdom, and he brings his cat, Garfield (voiced by Bill Murray), along for the trip. A case of mistaken cat identity finds Garfield ruling over a castle (Castle Howard), but his reign is soon jeopardized by the nefarious Lord Dargis (Billy Connolly), who has designs on the estate.

Great Estates (2000, 2001)
A series of hugely popular documentaries about Castle Howard and other estates in England, that provided a fascinating glimpse into all aspects of life at Castle Howard indoors, outdoors and behind the scenes.

A Year in the Life of Castle Howard (1996)
A six-part documentary on the Castle Howard.

The Buccaneers (1994)
A BBC production of Edith Whartons novel of the 19th century encounter between English aristocracy and wealthy American heiresses. Because of their new money background, four American girls have difficulty breaking into the upper-crust society of New York. Laura Testvalley, the governess of one of the girls, suggests a London season and thus the young women set sail for England and the unsuspecting English aristocracy.

Twelfth Night (1978)
A BBC production of one of Shakespeares most popular comedies, and surprisingly the only time Castle Howard has been used for a Shakespeare play.

Brideshead Revisited (1981)
Granada TVs production of Evelyn Waughs novel, starring Anthony Andrews, Jeremy Irons and Diana Quick, has achieved mythic status as one of the great costume dramas of all time. Although it is not certain that Waugh identified his Brideshead with Castle Howard, for many people the two buildings have come to epitomise a nostalgia for England before the Second World War.

Barry Lyndon (1975)

Directed by Stanley Kubrick, based on the novel by William Thackeray. Redmond Barry is a young, roguish Irishman whos determined, in any way, to make a life for himself as a wealthy nobleman. Enlisting in the British Army, fighting in the Seven Years War in Europe, Barry deserts from the British army, joins the Prussian army, gets promoted to the rank of a spy, then becomes pupil to a Chevalier and con artist.

The Spy With a Cold Nose (1966)
A spoof cold war spy thriller starring Lawrence Harvey with Castle Howard masquerading as the Kremilin in Moscow. The Russian Premier is presented with a British bulldog that has been fitted with a transmitter by Dr. Francis Trevelyan (Laurence Harvey).

Lady L (1965)

Directed by Peter Ustinov, and starring David Niven, Sophia Loren and Paul Newman in a tale of European anarchists and aristocrats. Lady Louise Lendale (Sophia Loren) is 80 years old and tells her long time admirer, British poet Sir Percy (Cecil Parker), all about her eventful life.




@: 2008, brideshead, films, i am not i, mini-series

URL
01:38 

Castle Howard homepage

Brideshead
contra mundum
URL
01:38 

Castle Howard homepage

Brideshead
contra mundum
URL
01:37 

'It's all on account of the war'

Brideshead
contra mundum

Why does Brideshead Revisited have such a strong hold on our imagination? Evelyn Waughs beautiful dialogue plays its part, argues Christopher Hitchens, but the chief source of the novels power is its summoning of innocence lost on the fields of Flanders. Never mind that the new film version is a travesty: go back to the book


As I drove away from a California screening of the new film version of Brideshead Revisited, I was amused to overhear the comments of my companions from the back seat. I thought the one who played Jeremy Irons was a bit thin I liked the Anthony Andrews character better It is more than a quarter of a century since the late William F Buckley introduced the Granada TV series to the American viewers of the Public Broadcasting System, and the residual effect is one of what Harold Isaacs once called scratches on the mind: a very durable if sometimes vague cultural impression. (My son was born in 1984 and as I was carrying a teddy bear home, and happening that day to be wearing a white linen suit, I was astonished by the number of passers-by in Washington DC who shouted Hi Sebastian! at me as I tooled along.)


The directors Charles Sturridge and Michael Lindsay-Hogg achieved their 1981 success by gorgeous photography, of course, and also by generally inspired casting. The locations, plainly, required little or no embellishment. And the music was suitably well, evocative. But most of all, they were faithful to Evelyn Waughs beautiful dialogue and cadence, both in set-piece scenes and in sequences of languorous voice-over in Oxford and Venice and - perhaps decisively - in the opening passage, where the melancholic Captain Charles Ryder hears the almost healing word Brideshead spoken again: a name that was so familiar to me, a conjurors name of such magic power, that, at its ancient sound, the phantoms of those haunted late years began to take flight.


Graham Greene once wrote that, in his own memory, that same inaugural passage had seemed very long and elaborate, and that he was surprised on rereading it to find how brief it was. He intended this as a compliment. I, too, find that Brideshead is oddly capacious and elastic, disclosing new depths and perspectives with each reading. Why does this novel have such a tenacious hold on the imagination, even of people who have never been to England or never visited a country house?


Well, to answer that first and easiest question, it is entirely possible to feel nostalgia for homelands, and for periods, which one has never experienced oneself. This applies to imagined times and places as well as to real ones: Waugh uses the phrase secret garden and also - alluding to the Oxford of Lewis Carroll - to an enclosed and enchanted garden reachable by a low door in the wall. The yearning for a lost or different upbringing is fairly universal, and one of Bridesheads keys is precisely the one that unlocks the gate to it:


Now, that summer term with Sebastian, it seemed as though I was being given a brief spell of what I had never known, a happy childhood, and though its toys were silk shirts and liqueurs and cigars and its naughtiness high in the catalogue of grave sins, there was something of nursery freshness about us that fell little short of the joy of innocence.


This sentence, incidentally, puts the quietus on the ridiculous word platonic that for some peculiar reason still crops up in discussion of the story. Waughs unambiguous mention of the catalogue of grave sins also reminds us of his stated purpose in writing the book, which was nothing less than an attempt to trace the workings of the divine purpose in a pagan world. And this is the storys second source of fascination: the struggle between the sacred and the profane. Critics have differed sharply here. Monsignor Ronald Knox was so much affected by Julias monologue on sin that he proposed to quote it to the clergy of Westminster Cathedral on their Day of Recollection, while George Orwell, who was reviewing Brideshead on his own deathbed, thought that the passing of Lord Marchmain and other kitschy scenes demonstrated the impossibility of being simultaneously grown-up and a Roman Catholic. It cant be said that Waugh is merely propagandistically or proselytisingly Catholic in the novel: Sebastian is a doomed and sometimes vicious alcoholic, his elder brother, the devout Bridey, is an honest but ineffectual crank, his little sister Cordelia a sweet little frump who goes off to work for General Franco, and their mother a sort of ultra-glamorous witch, while all the priests are represented as either silly or simple. And as for Julia: the whore/Madonna complex might have been invented for her. Nonetheless, it cant be doubted that Waugh was trying to do honour to English Catholicism and, as he later came to realise, was inadvertently engaged in commemorating the passing of its traditionalist wing. (He died as the full horror of the Second Vatican Council, with its abolition of the Latin or Tridentine mass, was becoming fully apparent to him. The recent rise of Josef Ratzinger might have struck him as another of the operations of divine grace.)


Fatally perhaps for his own cause, he thus identified the esoteric elitism of his religion with the snobbery that attached to the Marchmain lineage and its lovely country home. (Sebastian Flyte describes the English Catholics as a series of cliques, while Lord Marchmain freely allows that he himself is a caricature of all that the socialists would have me be.) At least Waugh was unapologetic about this, saying that the novelist deals with the experiences which excite his imagination, and adding that class consciousness, particularly in England, has been so much inflamed nowadays that to mention a nobleman is like mentioning a prostitute 60 years ago. The new prudes say: No doubt such people do exist but we would rather not hear about them. I reserve the right to deal with the kind of people I know best. This to me appears more than reasonable: it would be absurd and vulgar to indict Marcel Proust or Anthony Powell or PG Wodehouse for their emphasis on the upper crust. The test is not characters so much as characterisation. One of Waughs best minor figures is anything but aristocratic: the hapless clerk Hooper could have been invented by Charles Dickens or Arnold Bennett in a spare moment. Ryder plays a word-game with his name, changing the fashionable word Youth in modern discourse to the word Hooper and thus coming up with Hooper Rallies, Hooper Hostels and suchlike. Fair enough. But then try this, from Charless first lunch with Sebastian:


He was magically beautiful, with that epicene quality which in extreme youth sings aloud for love and withers at the first cold wind.


Or this, during the stolen summer holiday that leaves the naughty boys with Brideshead Castle all to themselves:


The languor of Youth - how unique and quintessential it is! How quickly, how irrecoverably, lost! The zest, the generous affections, the illusions, the despair, all the traditional attributes of Youth - all save this - come and go with us through life


In this rather sickly passage the word is even capitalised, but I doubt that Waugh wanted us, while the golden lads were splashing and romping, to substitute the word Hooper for it. So, if you must seek a conviction for elitism, look to the language and not to the sociology.


Look to the language, also, if you want to guess at meanings that may be only semi-conscious in the writers own mind: when Waugh tells us that the sweet scent of the tobacco merged with the sweet summer scents around us and the fumes of the sweet, golden wine seemed to lift us a fingers breadth above the turf, does he intend the slightly saccharine repetition or is he unaware that he is being a little too rich?


It comes as a shock to discover that Waugh nearly called Charles Ryder by the surname of Fenwick, and almost gave Cordelia the first name Bridget. (Such is the power of a great novel to make us feel that we own it almost as private property, as it were, and must resent any intrusion on our intimacy with it.) But evidently he gave some care and reflection to nomenclature. In one of his literary essays on sacred subjects, Father Robert Barron proposes that because St Paul told the Corinthians that Christ is the Head of His Body the Church and, shifting the metaphor, that Jesus is the Bridegroom and the Church the Bride, it follows that Waugh fuses these two Pauline images of Head and Bride to create the gracious mansion that lies at the core of the story. This may be plausible (the two images are widely separated in the Bible) but I feel on surer ground in proposing my profane counterpart to Barrons sacred one. In the very name of Sebastian Flyte there is either a very great ingenuity or a very strong subliminal element. Recall the way in which Anthony Blanche says to him, with obvious flirtatiousness: My dear, I should like to stick you full of barbed arrows like a p-p-pin-cushion. Here the reference to the martyrdom of St Sebastian is obvious enough, and then it might occur to you - as it only did to me after several rereadings - that the word flight also happens to be the collective noun for a shower of arrows.


Pressing home with this analogy, one hits upon what may be the chief source of Bridesheads potency. Even if only in distant and muffled tones, with the actual tragic action taking place off-stage


@: 2008, book, films, mini-series, press, waugh

URL
03:56 

Take a tour of Castle Howard in North Yorkshire England

Brideshead
contra mundum



Take a tour of Castle Howard in North Yorkshire England





@: mini-series, i am not i, films, 2008, brideshead

URL
17:42 

Jeremy Irons and Anthony Andrews acclaimed performances in Brideshead Revisited almost never happened after producers for the programme tried to cast them in alternative roles, the actors have revealed.

Brideshead
contra mundum

The two men have revealed that before filming began on the 1981 screen adaptation of Evelyn Waughs most famous novel, each was cast for the others role.


They both had to battle to overturn decisions by the director and producer that Irons should play Sebastian and that Andrews would be cast in the role of Charles.


Andrews has recalled that during his first meeting with the production team before filming began, he realised he was being lined up to play the role of Charles, the storys narrator.


He said: I got the impression that they werent thinking of me as Sebastian at all, which was a terrifying moment and I remember having to say Can I put in a plea that somebody should consider me for this part?


Irons has also described how he fought to claim the role of Charles, after Derek Granger, the producer, had decided that he was perfect for the part of Sebastian.


He said: I actually wrote to the Brideshead team and said Id love to do your series if you ever do it, and Id love to play Charles, and Derek came back to me and said Sebastian would be good for you.


I said no, no, no, Charles for me, because he was such a strange Englishman and I had just played someone very like Sebastian for London Weekend [Television] so I thought Id done that.




@: chalres, films, mini-series, sebastian

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18:28 

Read the novel; dont see the film, by Eric Hester

Brideshead
contra mundum
Read the novel; dont see the film, by Eric Hester:

As well as being a Catholic headmaster for twenty-four years, Eric Hester was also a chief examiner in English Literature. This article is as lightly altered version of one published in a Catholic periodical a few years ago. Eric Hester writes that the new film version of Brideshead Revisited has not yet been released in England but he is disturbed by that he has read of it: The film version seems to have abandoned the main theme of the book, the operation of divine grace. At the end of the novel the central character has clearly become a Catholic and the novel ends optimistically. The film, apparently, has Ryder rejecting the Catholic faith. In the novel, the relationship between Charles Ryder and Sebastian is not a homosexual one but one of an intense friendship between two young men, not uncommon in those times in England and not unheard of even today; the film makes the relationship an explicitly homosexual one. I urge people not to see the new film but to read the book, which is arguably the greatest Catholic novel in English.




@: 2008, bubbles, films, links, religion

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16:10 

Charles Sturridge (director) married Phoebe Nicholls...

Brideshead
contra mundum


Charles Sturridge (director) married Phoebe Nicholls (Cordelia Flyte) in 1985.




@: films, mini-series

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Brideashead revisited