The Story of Brideshead Revisited
Charles Ryder is a captain in the British Army in 1943, in the middle of the Second World War. He is in command of a company of soldiers but is weary and disillusioned. Life seems to consist of repeated motiveless moves around the country; he is divorced and apparently friendless. Even the army, which once seemed to offer the certainty of valuable activity, holds no attraction for him now. It is commanded by shallow, ignoble and vindictive men like his new Commanding Officer. Ryder is also sceptical about the future of Britain. It seems to lie in the hands of weak-spirited, muddle-headed men like his subordinate officer, Lieutenant Hooper.
As the regiment travels in a train from Glasgow in the middle of winter, Charles does not even bother to find out where they are going. So when, early next morning on their arrival in a large area of parkland, he is told the name of the estate, it is as if a window in his mind, long shuttered, has flown open. Their new camp is at Brideshead Castle; and he has been there before.