Brideshead Revisited

More books and television!

Brideshead Revisited came to the TV screen in 1981. Based on the novel by Evelyn Waugh and starring Anthony Andrews and Jeremy Irons, it followed Andrews as the flamboyant Sebastian Flyte who befriends Charles Ryder (Irons) at Oxford. The story is funny at times, poignant throughout, and always a bit sad. Ryder is the narrator, and he tells us this story as he gets to know the very wealthy Anglo-Catholic Flyte family and maintains his often puzzling relationships with Sebastian and Sebastian’s sister Julia. His relationship with his very stoic, quite removed father (played by John Gielgud) contrasts sharply with the extravagances of Sebastian and the Flytes.

I write about this here as this is another instance of watching a television series and being drawn to read the novel. I found the series to be quite true to the novel and was glad to get this very British story from both types of media. This also introduced me to the music of Geoffery Burgon. Parts of his Requiem were the sound track for the BBC’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy (1979). That TV series drew me to read John LeCarre’s spy novels featuring George Smiley. Listening to Burgon’s music is very soothing in these troubled and unsettling times.

Reading is all about stories. And we can get those stories in so many ways these days. If you’re not acquainted with Brideshead Revisited do read and watch in whatever order! And you might check out Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy as well.

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