: charles ( )

"Madresfield was a red-brick, moated manor house with yellow stone facings around the doors and..."

contra mundum
Madresfield was a red-brick, moated manor house with yellow stone facings around the doors and windows. On sunny days one could see the golden carp and the blue flash or a kingfisher in the moat, which is twenty feet wide. (Charles compares Julia Flyte to a kingfisher.)


Mad World by Paula Byrne

That night and the night after and the night after, wherever she went, always in her own little circle of intimates, she brought to all whose eyes were open to it a moment of joy, such as strikes deep to the heart on the rivers bank when the kingfisher suddenly flames across dappled water.

@: byrne, charles, julia


bridesheadcastle: Old Quad of Hertford College.

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Old Quad of Hertford College.

@: oxford, charles


nikitajade: Bridge of Sighs, Oxford, UK.

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Bridge of Sighs, Oxford, UK.

@: charles, oxford


1956 US cover, Dell Publishing Co., Inc.

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1956 US cover, Dell Publishing Co., Inc.

@: books, charles, covers, julia, unhealthy pictures


Hertford College ties. Did Charles wear one?

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Hertford College ties. Did Charles wear one?

@: oxford, charles


"[Evelyn Waugh] planned to share lodgings with Hugh Lygon in Merton Street. They were going to take..."

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[Evelyn Waugh] planned to share lodgings with Hugh Lygon in Merton Street. They were going to take an expensive little house next to the tennis courts. [But Evelyns father chose not to send him to Oxford for another term.]


Paula Byrnes Mad World

The weeks went by; we looked for lodgings for the coming term and found them in Merton Street, a secluded, expensive little house near the tennis court.

@: waugh, sebastian, oxford, i am not i, charles


"In Evelyn [Waugh]s third term he changed to a more spacious set of rooms on the ground floor..."

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In Evelyn [Waugh]s third term he changed to a more spacious set of rooms on the ground floor of the front quad. this left him vulnerable to people dropping in to dump their bags or to cadge a drink and a cigarette. He decorated the rooms with Lovat Fraser prints and kept a human skull in a bowl, which he decorated with flowers. One night a group of young bloods came into the quad drunk and looking for trouble. One of them leaned into Evelyns window and was violently sick.


Paula Byrnes Mad World

At least three quotes come to mind, the first two of them involving cousin Jasper.

  • Finally, just as he was going, he said, One last point. Change your rooms. They were large, with deeply recessed windows and painted, eighteenth-century panelling; I was lucky as a freshman to get them. Ive seen many a man ruined through having ground-floor rooms in the front quad, said my cousin with deep gravity. People start dropping in. They leave their gowns here and come and collect them before hall; you start giving them sherry. Before you know where you are, youve opened a free bar for all the undesirables of the college.

  • Or that peculiarly noisome object? (A human skull lately purchased from the School of Medicine, which, resting in a bowl of roses, formed, at the moment, the chief decoration of my table. It bore the motto Et in Arcadia ego inscribed on its forehead.)
    Yes, I said, glad to be clear of one charge. I had to pay cash for the skull.

  • It was shortly before midnight in early March; I had been entertaining the college intellectuals to mulled ,claret; the fire was roaring, the air of my room heavy with smoke and spice, and my mind weary with metaphysics. I threw open my windows and from the quad outside came the not uncommon sounds of bibulous laughter and unsteady steps. A voice said: Hold up; another, Come on; another, Plenty of time . . . House . . . till Tom stops ringing; and another, clearer than the rest, Dyou know I feel most unaccountably unwell. I must leave you a minute, and there appeared at my window the face I knew to be Sebastians but not as I had formerly seen it, alive and alight with gaiety; he looked at me for a moment with unseeing eyes and then, leaning forward well into the room, he was sick.

@: arcadia, charles, motifs, oxford, sebastian, waugh


"and my earliest friends fitted well into this background; they were Collins, a Wykehamist,..."

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and my earliest friends fitted well into this background; they were Collins, a Wykehamist, an embryo don, a man of solid reading and childlike humour, and a small circle of college intellectuals, who maintained a middle course of culture between the flamboyant aesthetes and the proletarian scholars who scrambled fiercely for facts in the lodging houses of the Iffley-Road and Wellington Square.


In his letters Evelyn Waugh wrote that his friends of the first two terms were

a gloomy scholar from some Grammar school who talked nothing, some aristocratic men who talked winter sports and motor cars.

[via Paula Byrnes Mad World]

@: charles, collins, i am not i, oxford, waugh


"It was by this circle that I found myself adopted during my first term; they provided the kind of..."

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It was by this circle that I found myself adopted during my first term; they provided the kind of company I had enjoyed in the sixth form at school, for which the sixth form had prepared me; but even in the earliest days, when the whole business of living at Oxford, with rooms of my own and my own cheque book, was a source of excitement, I felt at heart that this was not all that Oxford had to offer.


In Mad World, Paula Byrne writes:

For his first two terms he [EW] led a quiet anf uneventful life. He claimed that he was content: I have enough friends to keep me from being lonely and not enough to bother me, he wrote in a letter, adding that he did little work and dreamed a lot. But in other letters he lamented the lack of congenial friends.

@: charles, motifs, oxford, waugh


"Sebastian got straight to bed; I sat by his fire and smoked a pipe. I said: I rather wish I..."

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Sebastian got straight to bed; I sat by his fire and smoked a pipe. I said: I rather wish I was coming out with you tomorrow.

Well, he said, you wouldnt see much sport. I can tell you exactly what Im going to do. I shall leave Bridey at the first covert, hack over to the nearest good pub and spend the entire day quietly soaking in the bar parlour. If they treat me like a dipsomaniac, they can bloody well have a dipsomaniac. I hate hunting, anyway.

- In the mini-series we can often see Jeremy Irons smoking a pipe, too. Paula Byrne (along with other biographers) claims that Evelyn Waugh himself learnt to smoke a pipe during his first terms in Oxford.

@: charles, mini-series, motifs, waugh


"[Evelyn Waugh] was in love with my brother."

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[Evelyn Waugh] was in love with my brother.


Lady Sibell Lygon

And she definitely doesnt mean Elmley :-)

[via Paula Byrnes Mad World]

@: charles, fairies, i am not i, tian, waugh,sebas


Frank wore only an ermine hood, a B.A.s gown, and loose, unremarkable clothes, subfusc today, with...

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Frank wore only an ermine hood, a B.A.s gown, and loose, unremarkable clothes, subfusc today, with the Corinthian tie which alternated with the Carthusian, week in, week out.

A Carthusian tie refers to Charterhouse, originally The Hospital of King James and Thomas Sutton in Charterhouse, or more simply Charterhouse, is an English collegiate independent boarding school (also referred to as a public school) situated at Godalming in Surrey. (Wiki)

We are not sure about the Corinthian tie, but the best guess would be this:

The Corinthian junior football club, now merged with Casuals football club into Corinthian-Casuals.

@: Charles Ryder's Schooldays, charles, fashion, motifs


All human habitations were barred; the choice lay between the open down behind Spierpoint Ring and the single country road to the isolated Norman church of St. Botolph.

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St. Botolph, an Abbot, died c.680. A very popular Saint in Medieval England, but little is known about him. With his brother Adulf he became a monk abroad and in 654 established a monastery at Icanhoh, usually identified with Boston (Botulfs stone) in Lincolnshire. St. Cedfrid is said to have journeyed all the way from Wearmouth (Tyneside) to converse with this man - of remarkable life and learning.

St. Botulph, the saint whose name is perpetuated in that of the American city of Boston, Massachusetts, was certainly an historical personage, though the story of his life is very confused and unsatisfactory. What information we possess about him is mainly derived from a short biography by Folcard, monk of St. Bertin and Abbot of Thorney, who wrote in the eleventh century (Hardy, Catalogue of Brit. Hist., I, 373). According to him Botulph was born of noble Saxon parents who were Christians, and was sent with his brother Adulph to the Continent for the purpose of study. Adulph remained aboard, where he is stated to have become Bishop of Utrecht, though his name does not occur in any of the ancient lists. Botulph, returning to England, found favour with a certain Ethelmund, King of the southern Angles, whose sisters he had known in Germany, and was by him permitted to choose a tract of desolate land upon which to build a monastery. This place, surrounded by water and called Icanhoe (Ox-island), is commonly identified with the town of Boston in Lincolnshire, mainly on account of its name (Boston=Botulphs town). There is, however, something to suggest that the true spot may be the village of Iken in Suffolk which of old was almost encircled by the little river Alde, and in which the church is also dedicated to St. Botulph. In favour of Lincolnshire must be reckoned the fact that St. Botulph was much honoured in the North and in Scotland. Thus his feast was entered in the York calendar but not in that of Sarum. Moreover, even Folcard speaks of the Scots as Botulphs neighbours (vicini). In favour of Suffolk, on the other hand, may be quoted the tradition that St. Botulph, who is also called bishop, was first buried at Grundisburgh, a village near Woodbridge, and afterwards translated to Bury St. Edmunds. This, however, may be another person, since he is always closely associated with a certain St. Jurmin (Arnold, Memorials of Bury, I, 352). That Botulph really did build a monastery at Icanhoe is attested by an entry in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle under the year 654: Botulf ongan thoet mynster timbrian oet Yceanho, i.e. Botulph began to build the minster at Icanhoe. That the saint must have lived somewhere in the Eastern counties is proved by the indisputable evidence of the Historia Abbatum (Plummers Bede, I, 389), where we learn that Ceolfrid, Bedes beloved master at Wearmouth, journied to the East Angles in order that he might see the foundation of Abbot Botulphus, whom fame had proclaimed far and wide to be a man of remarkable life and learning, full of the grace of the Holy Spirit, and the account goes on to say that Ceolfrid having been abundantly instructed, so far as was possible in a short time, returned home so well equipped that no one could be found more learned than he either in ecclesiastical or monastic traditions. Folcard represents St. Botulph as living and dying at Icanhoe in spite of the molestations of the evil spirits to which he was exposed at his first coming. Later accounts, e.g. the lessons of the Schleswig Breviary, suppose him to have changed his habitation more than once and to have built at one time a monastery upon the bank of the Thames in honour of St. Martin. His relics are said after the incursions of the Danes to have been recovered and divided by St. Aethelwold between Ely, Thorney Abbey, and King Edgars private chapel. What is more certain is that St. Botulph was honoured by many dedications of churches, over fifty in all, especially in East Anglia and in the North. His name is perpetuated not only by the little town of Boston in Lincolnshire with its American homonym, but also by Bossal in Yorkshire, Botesdale in Suffolk, Botolph Bridge in Huntingdonshire, and Botolph in Sussex. In England his feast was kept on 17 June, in Scotland on 25 June.

@: Charles Ryder's Schooldays, charles, motifs, religion


he had filled with vermilion, carefully drawn, Old English capitals. The T alone remained...

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he had filled with vermilion, carefully drawn, Old English capitals. The T alone remained to do and for this he had selected a model from Shaws Alphabets, now open before him on the table.

The Shavian alphabet (also known as Shaw alphabet) is an alphabet conceived as a way to provide simple, phonetic orthography for the English language to replace the difficulties of the conventional spelling. It was posthumously funded by and named after Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw.

The letters used by Shaw are intentionally non-Latin so as to avoid the feeling that words are not spelled differently but simply misspelled.

The symbols can be seen here. I am not at all sure Shavian alphabet is what EW means here but I can find no other references. Anyone? Also, if it is, which letter would you choose for T? :-)

@: Charles Ryder's Schooldays, charles, motifs


When Charless mother was killed there was a memorial service for her at Boughton, his home...

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When Charless mother was killed there was a memorial service for her at Boughton, his home village

Boughton is a village and civil parish in the Daventry district of Northamptonshire, England, about 4 miles (6.4 km) from Northampton town centre along the A508 road between Northampton and Market Harborough. The parish area straddles both side of the road but the main part of the village is east. It is on the northern fringe of the Northampton urban area and, together with the neighbouring village of Moulton is in the preferred area for the expansion of the town.

In the novel, Boughton is also mentioned by Mr Ryder:

I never had any myself except once from your cousin Alfred. Do you know in the summer before I was going up, your cousin Alfred rode over to Boughton especially to give me a piece of advice?

and also by Charles himself:

Two Christmases - those bleak, annual excursions into propriety. Boughton, home of my family, home of my cousin Jasper, with what glum memories of childhood I revisited its pitch-pine corridors and dripping walls!

@: Charles Ryder's Schooldays, charles, geography, motifs


He read There swimmeth One Who swam eer rivers were begun, And under that Almighty Fin the...

contra mundum

He read There swimmeth One Who swam eer rivers were begun, And under that Almighty Fin the littlest fish may enter in and Abou Ben Adhem, may his tribe increase and Under the wide and starry sky and What have I done for you, England, my England? and many others of the same comfortable kind

by Rupert Brooke (1887-1915)

Fish(fly-replete, in depth of June,
Dawdling away their watry noon)
Ponder deep wisdom, dark or clear,
Each secret fishy hope or fear.
Fish say, they have their Stream and Pond;
But is there anything Beyond?
This life cannot be All, they swear,
For how unpleasant, if it were!
One may not doubt that, somehow, Good
Shall come of Water and of Mud;
And, sure, the reverent eye must see
A Purpose in Liquidity.
We darkly know, by Faith we cry,
The future is not Wholly Dry.
Mud unto mud! Death eddies near
Not here the appointed End, not here!
But somewhere, beyond Space and Time.
Is wetter water, slimier slime!
And there (they trust) there swimmeth One
Who swam ere rivers were begun,
Immense, of fishy form and mind,
Squamous, omnipotent, and kind;
And under that Almighty Fin,
The littlest fish may enter in.
Oh! never fly conceals a hook,
Fish say, in the Eternal Brook,
But more than mundane weeds are there,
And mud, celestially fair;
Fat caterpillars drift around,
And Paradisal grubs are found;
Unfading moths, immortal flies,
And the worm that never dies.
And in that Heaven of all their wish,
There shall be no more land, say fish.

Rupert Chawner Brooke (middle name sometimes given as Chaucer) (3 August 1887 23 April 1915) was an English poet known for his idealistic war sonnets written during the First World War (especially The Soldier). He was also known for his boyish good looks, which prompted the Irish poet William Butler Yeats to describe him as the handsomest young man in England.

by Leigh Hunt (1784-1859)

Abou Ben Adhem (may his tribe increase!)
Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace,
And saw, within the moonlight in his room,
Making it rich, and like a lily in bloom,
An Angel writing in a book of gold:

Exceeding peace had made Ben Adhem bold,
And to the Presence in the room he said,
What writest thou? The Vision raised its head,
And with a look made of all sweet accord
Answered, The names of those who love the Lord.

And is mine one? said Abou. Nay, not so,
Replied the Angel. Abou spoke more low,
But cheerily still; and said, I pray thee, then,
Write me as one who loves his fellow men.

The Angel wrote, and vanished. The next night
It came again with a great wakening light,
And shoed the names whom love of God had blessed,
And, lo! Ben Adhems name led all the rest!

James Henry Leigh Hunt (19 October 1784 28 August 1859), best known as Leigh Hunt, was an English critic, essayist, poet and writer. He was a friend of Keats and Shelley.

by Robert Louis Stevenson

Under the wide and starry sky
Dig the grave and let me lie;
Glad did I live and gladly die,
And I laid me down with a will.

Here may the winds about me blow,
Here the sea may come and go
Here lies peace forevermo
And the heart for aye shall be still.

This be the verse you grave for me:
Here he lies where he longed to be;
Home is the sailor, home from sea,
And the hunter home from the hill.

I dont think Stevenson needs any introducrion, but just in case heres a Wikipedia link. One curious thing about Charless acquaitance with Stevenson is that

Stevenson was a celebrity in his own time, but with the rise of modern literature after World War I, he was seen for much of the 20th century as a writer of the second class, relegated to childrens literature and horror genres. Condemned by literary figures such as Virginia Woolf (daughter of his early mentor Leslie Stephen) and her husband Leonard, he was gradually excluded from the canon of literature taught in schools.

by William Ernest Henley (18491903)

What have I done for you,
England, my England?
What is there I would not do,
England, my own?
With your glorious eyes austere,
As the Lord were walking near,
Whispering terrible things and dear
As the Song on your bugles blown,
Round the world on your bugles blown!

Where shall the watchful sun,
England, my England,
Match the master-work youve done,
England, my own?
When shall he rejoice agen
Such a breed of mighty men
As come forward, one to ten,
To the Song on your bugles blown,
Down the years on your bugles blown?

Ever the faith endures,
England, my England:
Take and break us: we are yours,
England, my own!
Life is good, and joy runs high
Between English earth and sky:
Death is death; but we shall die
To the Song on your bugles blown,
To the stars on your bugles blown!

They call you proud and hard,
England, my England:
You with worlds to watch and ward,
England, my own!
You whose maild hand keeps the keys
Of such teeming destinies,
You could know nor dread nor ease
Were the Song on your bugles blown,
Round the Pit on your bugles blown!

Mother of Ships whose might,
England, my England,
Is the fierce old Seas delight,
England, my own,
Chosen daughter of the Lord,
Spouse-in-Chief of the ancient Sword,
There s the menace of the Word
In the Song on your bugles blown,
Out of heaven on your bugles blown!

William Ernest Henley (23 August 1849 11 July 1903) was an English poet, critic and editor, best remembered for his 1875 poem Invictus (Latin for unconquered). At the age of 12, Henley fell victim to tuberculosis of the bone. A few years later, the disease progressed to his foot, and physicians announced that the only way to save his life was to amputate directly below the knee. It was amputated when he was 17. Victorian text-books professing stoicism were popular in English public schools, and in 1875, the Stoic ideal of indifference in the face of suffering inspired Henley to write his poem from a hospital bed. Despite his disability, he survived with one foot intact and led an active life until his death at the age of 53.

@: Charles Ryder's Schooldays, all save poetry, charles, motifs


Some things have to be believed to be seen.

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The poemRalph Hodgsons Twould ring the bells of Heaven The wildest peal for years, If Parson lost his senses And people came to theirs was one of Franks favourites.

The Bells of Heaven
Twould ring the bells of heaven,
The wildest peal for years,
If Parson lost his senses
And people came to theirs.
And he and they together
Knelt down with angry prayers
For tamed and shabby tigers,
And dancing dogs and bears,
And wretched, blind pit ponies,
And little hunted hares.

Ralph Hodgson (9 September 1871 3 November 1962), Order of the Rising Sun (Japanese

@: Charles Ryder's Schooldays, all save poetry, charles, motifs



contra mundum

Mr. Graves. Were to learn any poem we like.
And what have you chosen?

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days, in this dark world and wide,
And that one Talent which is death to hide,
Lodgd with me useless, though my Soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, least he returning chide,
Doth God exact day-labour, light denyd,
I fondly ask; But patience to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, God doth not need
Either mans work or his own gifts, who best
Bear his milde yoak, they serve him best, his State
Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
And post ore Land and Ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and waite.

@: Charles Ryder's Schooldays, all save poetry, charles, motifs


The chapel at Charless school was huge, bare, and still unfinished, one of the great...

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The chapel at Charless school

was huge, bare, and still unfinished, one of the great monuments of the Oxford Movement and the Gothic revival.

The Oxford Movement was a movement of High Church Anglicans, eventually developing into Anglo-Catholicism. The movement, whose members were often associated with the University of Oxford, argued for the reinstatement of lost Christian traditions of faith and their inclusion into Anglican liturgy and theology. They conceived of the Anglican Church as one of three branches of the Catholic Church.

Canterbury Cathedral
The Gothic Revival (also referred to as Victorian Gothic or Neo-Gothic) is an architectural movement which began in the 1740s in England. Its popularity grew rapidly in the early nineteenth century, when increasingly serious and learned admirers of neo-Gothic styles sought to revive medieval forms, in contrast to the neoclassical styles prevalent at the time.
In English literature, the architectural Gothic Revival and classical Romanticism gave rise to the Gothic novel genre, beginning with Castle of Otranto (1764) by Horace Walpole, 4th Earl of Orford, and inspired a 19th century genre of medieval poetry which stems from the pseudo-bardic poetry of Ossian. Poems like Idylls of the King by Alfred Tennyson, 1st Baron Tennyson recast specifically modern themes in medieval settings of Arthurian romance. In German literature, the Gothic Revival also had a grounding in literary fashions.
I cant resist the temptation and will show an example of Gothic revival in my hometown, one of the best Ive seen ever.
Chesme Church

@: Charles Ryder's Schooldays, motifs, charles


I went meaning to put in some time on Walter Cranes Bases of Design

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Walter Crane (18451915) was an English artist and book illustrator. He is considered to be the most prolific and influential childrens book creator of his generation and, along with Randolph Caldecott and Kate Greenaway, one of the strongest contributors to the childs nursery motif that the genre of English childrens illustrated literature would exhibit in its developmental stages in the latter 19th century. His work featured some of the more colourful and detailed beginnings of the child-in-the-garden motifs that would characterize many nursery rhymes and childrens stories for decades to come. He was part of the Arts and Crafts movement and produced an array of paintings, illustrations, childrens books, ceramic tiles and other decorative arts.

@: motifs, charles, Charles Ryder's Schooldays


Brideashead revisited