Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Charles Ryder

Charles Ryder, a young man who in his days at Oxford meets Sebastian Marchmain and is gradually introduced to the Marchmain family of Brideshead. He becomes an architectural painter and marries the sister of another Oxford friend, but his ties to the Marchmain family persist, and later he falls in love with Sebastian’s sister Julia, who is also married. They plan to divorce their spouses and marry each other, and for a while they live together; but Julia’s Catholic faith claims her at last, and she gives up Charles.

Lady Marchmain

Lady Marchmain, the stanchly Catholic mother of Sebastian and Julia, who are in revolt from her as well as from their religion. After her death, her rebellious husband and children are drawn back to the values of the Church.

The Marquis of Marchmain

The Marquis of Marchmain, Lady Marchmain’s husband and the owner of Brideshead. For many years he has lived with his mistress in Italy. After the death of his wife, he returns to Brideshead with his mistress to spend his last days. Although he is in failing health, he refuses to see a priest: but as he is dying, the priest is brought in, and Lord Marchmain makes the sign of the cross.


The Earl of Brideshead (Bridey), the oldest of their children. A pompous man, he marries a self-righteous widow with three children.

Sebastian Flyte

Sebastian Flyte, Charles...

(The entire section is 591 words.)

Brideshead Revisited Characters

Evelyn Waugh admitted to his first biographer, Christopher Sykes, that several of the dramatis personae of Brideshead Revisited were...

(The entire section is 267 words.)

Brideshead Revisited Character Analysis

Brideshead Revisited Lady Julia Flyte

Lady Julia is Sebastian's younger sister by a couple of years and the eldest daughter of Lord and Lady Marchmain. At the beginning of the...

(The entire section is 193 words.)

Brideshead Revisited Lord Sebastian Flyte

Sebastian is the charming youngest son of Lord and Lady Marchmain and Charles's closest friend at Oxford. They meet when Sebastian is drunk...

(The entire section is 177 words.)

Brideshead Revisited Rex Mottram

Rex is Lady Julia's boyfriend and eventually her fiancé and husband. He is originally from Canada, which prompts many to see him as an...

(The entire section is 167 words.)

Brideshead Revisited Charles Ryder

Charles Ryder is the novel's narrator: everything the reader sees and knows is told through his eyes. He first appears as a captain in the...

(The entire section is 286 words.)

Brideshead Revisited Other Characters

Mrs. Abel
Mrs. Abel is Edward Ryder's cook. According to Charles, her cooking skills are not very good.


(The entire section is 1631 words.)