Fashion Book: Brideshead Revisited
In an attempt to read more classics, I checked Brideshead Revisited out of the library last month. At the beginning, we meet Charles Ryder, as he sets up his troops at an old estate in England during WWII and realizes that it’s Brideshead, the old family home of the Marchmains. The book then flashes back to Charles’ time at Oxford, where he befriends Sebastian Flyte, an eccentric who carries around a teddy bear everywhere he goes. When Sebastian suffers a sprain during winter break and is immobilized, he sends for Charles to come stay with him at Brideshead as he recuperates. Charles gladly accepts the invitation to get away from spending time with his father, with whom he only shares occasional stilted dinners, and becomes a permanent fixture at Brideshead.
I really liked the beginning of the book, and seeing Charles’ friendship with Sebastian develop. But the book, for me, began to fall apart after Sebastian, who clearly suffers from depression, starts drinking self-destructively and runs away to Morocco, eventually ending up living a sad existence helping out at a monastery there. Charles bumbles along in life, marrying a woman he doesn’t love, and fathering two children he could care less about. There really isn’t any passion to Charles, even after he re-encounters Sebastian’s beautiful sister Julia and becomes infatuated with her. He leaves his wife, and she leaves her husband, whom she’s not very fond of either. The two’s relationship could have been interesting, had it been developed more, but it seemed distant and somewhat arbitrary, except that Charles had always been in love with Sebastian, in a way. However, the two never discuss Sebastian or what’s become of him, effectively blotting out his importance to the novel.
I put together an elegant, expensive look for Julia, something she would have worn for the cruise where she and Charles first fall in love. Meanwhile, I’ve fallen in love with that Vivienne Westwood coat. Yowza.