Thursday, December 31, 1970

Evelyn Waugh Brideshead Revisited published 25 years ago this year

Last updated 7/6/2020.

Brideshead Revisited

Evelyn Waugh

First Publication: 1945

Category: novel

Sales: ?

Accolades (click on badges to see full lists):

About the Book:

“The wellsprings of desire and the impediments to love come brilliantly into focus in Evelyn Waugh’s masterpiece-a novel that immerses us in the glittering and seductive world of English aristocracy in the waning days of the empire.” AZ

“In this classic tale of British life between the World Wars, Waugh parts company with the satire of his earlier works to examine affairs of the heart.” BN “Through the story of Charles Ryder’s entanglement with the Flytes, a great Catholic family, Evelyn Waugh charts the passing of the privileged world he knew in his own youth and vividly recalls the sensuous pleasures denied him by wartime austerities.” AZ

“Charles Ryder finds himself stationed at Brideshead, the family seat of Lord and Lady Marchmain. Exhausted by the war, he takes refuge in recalling his time spent with the heirs to the estate before the war – years spent enthralled by the beautiful but dissolute Sebastian and later in a more conventional relationship with Sebastian’s sister Julia. Ryder portrays a family divided by an uncertain investment in Roman Catholicism and by their confusion over where the elite fit in the modern world.” BN

“At once romantic, sensuous, comic, and somber, Brideshead Revisited transcends Waugh’s early satiric explorations and reveals him to be an elegiac, lyrical novelist of the utmost feeling and lucidity.” AZ

“Although Waugh was considered by many to be more successful as a comic than as a wistful commentator on human relationships and faith, this novel was made famous by a 1981 BBC TV dramatization.” BN

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In July 2018, I became the organizer of the Classic Novels Book Club. Check out the Book Club tab here or Meetup for more information. This is our May 2019 book.

Sunday, May 31, 1970

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee Published 10 Years Ago This Month

updated 7/5/2020.

To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee

First Publication: May 1960

Category: Southern, gothic coming-of-age novel

Sales: 40 million


About the Book:

One of the best-loved stories of all time.” AZ Harper Lee’s “masterwork” AZ “was an immediate critical and financial success for its author.” LC It is “a gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice.” AZ

“The plot and characters are loosely based on Lee’s observations of her family, her neighbors and an event that occurred near her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, in 1936, when she was 10 years old. The story is told by the six-year-old Jean Louise Finch;” WK through her eyes, the reader “views a world of great beauty and savage inequities.” AZ

Meanwhile, Atticus Finch, “her father – a crusading local lawyer – risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.” AZ He “one of the most enduring and heroic characters in all of American literature,” LC serving “as a moral hero for many readers and as a model of integrity for lawyers.” WK One critic called him “the most enduring fictional image of racial heroism.’” WK

To Kill a Mockingbird is probably the most widely read book dealing with race in America.” WK It has been translated into over forty languages and was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film in 1962.

“The novel is renowned for its warmth and humor, despite dealing with the serious issues of rape and racial inequality.” WK “Scholars have noted that Lee also addresses issues of class, courage, compassion, and gender roles in the American Deep South. The book is widely taught in schools in the United States with lessons that emphasize tolerance and decry prejudice. Despite its themes, To Kill a Mockingbird has been subject to campaigns for removal from public classrooms, often challenged for its use of racial epithets.” WK

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