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Renascence

Volume 70, Issue 1, Winter 2018

J. V. Long
Pages 43-58
DOI: 10.5840/renascence20187014

Edmund Wilson Had No Idea: Brideshead Revisited as a Catholic Tract

Evidence in the text of Brideshead Revisited shows that it is inadequate simply to link Evelyn Waugh’s conversion to Roman Catholicism with his ostensibly reactionary sensibility. Rather than merely providing an exercise in apologetics, Waugh’s novel displays religious experience that is grounded in the author’s conversion and practice of his faith. The novel mines a deep understanding of both the complex experience of English Catholicism and the riches of the liturgical drama and texts that were experienced during the Holy Week Tenebrae services with which he was familiar.