Evelyn Waugh’s modern classic, Brideshead Revisited, is replete with all the ingredients of a Hollywood drama: handsome palaces filled with beautiful people adorned with the richest fabrics and idiosyncrasies of character; forbidden loves and casual encounters; carefree summers of youthful friendship and the isolation of war. However, Waugh’s novel takes us deeper into the heart of humankind, addressing what is merely of this earth while pointing to what transcends us.
Despite its 2008 adaptation to the silver screen, Brideshead Revisited is far from a mere drama of star-crossed lovers. Rather it is a novel concerning the human condition, of man’s alienation from God and others, and the relentless actions of divine grace which work to rescue man from himself. Rich in spirituality, vivid in its characters, and smart in its humor, Brideshead is no novel with little attention from generations of readers. Because of this, I will pass over a general synopsis (which can be easily found online) and turn our attention to the profound Catholicity of Waugh’s classic.