“I had been there before; I knew all about it.”
But it had been so long.
Captain Charles Ryder, a middle-aged Englishman serving the homefront with his company during the Second World War, breathed deeply and surveyed the scene that he and his fellow soldiers had come across. What once was a magnificent estate warmed by the eccentricities of warm friendship, young love, and budding faith was now a foreign property in disrepair billeted by His Majesty’s Armed Forces. To be sure, Brideshead Castle had never looked so bad. Furniture was packed into small spaces. Boards covered walls and windows. The fountain, filled with half-eaten sandwiches and cigarette butts, was wired over and starved of its water. And the family who once lived here and whom Charles loved and troubled over? Dead or dispersed.