"The April rain, the April rain,
Comes slanting down in fitful showers,
Then from the furrow shoots the grain,
And banks are fledged with nestling flowers;
And in grey shawl and woodland bowers
The cuckoo through the April rain
Calls once again."
Mathilde Blind, April Rain
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This classic by Evelyn Waugh was first published in 1945 and recounts the life and romances of Charles Ryder, including his friendship with the Flyte family, rich English Catholics who live in a palatial mansion called Brideshead Castle. Set during the period from the 1920s until the early 40s the novel explores themes such as nostalgia for the English aristocracy, Catholicism, and the nearly overt homosexuality of Sebastian Flyte's friends at Oxford University.
In 1981 it was dramatised by ITV and until Downton Abbey, was one of the most popular televised period dramas. Starring Jeremy Irons and Anthony Andrews, the serial was rated tenth on a list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes compiled by the British Film Institute. In 2007, the serial was listed as one of Time magazine's "100 Best TV Shows of All-Time" and in 2010, it ranked second in The Guardian newspaper's list of the top 50 TV dramas of all time. In 2015, The Telegraph listed it as number 1 in the greatest television adaptations.
In 2008 Brideshead Revisited was released as a feature film starring Emma Thompson. It was filmed at Castle Howard in North Yorkshire, which was also used as the set for the TV series.
This Youtube video talks about the making of the movie and includes some clips.
The book is read by John Guilgud:
The theme music to the series is evocative of the lifestyle of the aristocracy during the early part of the twentieth century.