After seven years of marriage, the Lady Brenda Last is bored with country life at Hetton Abbey. She drifts into an affair with shallow young socialite, John Beaver, and forsakes her unsuspecting husband as she becomes involved with the glamorous Belgravia set.
Charles Ryder, a lonely student at Oxford, is captivated by the outrageous and exquisitely beautiful Sebastian Flyte. Invited to Brideshead, Sebastian's magnificent family home, Charles welcomes the attentions of its eccentric, aristocratic inhabitants. But he also discovers a world which threatens to destroy his beloved Sebastian.
The more startling for the economy of its prose and plot, this novel's story, set among the manicured lawns and euphemisms of Whispering Glades Memorial Park in Hollywood, satirizes the American way of death and offers Waugh's memento mori.
Guy Crouchback is now attached to a commando unit undergoing training on the Hebridean isle of Mugg, where the whisky flows freely and HM forces have to show respect for the laird. But the comedy of Mugg is followed by the bitterness of Crete.
Guy Crouchback begins his career as an officer in the Royal Corps of Halberdiers. Despite his high spirits and chivalry, he sees only the trimmings and none of the action. His idealism undaunted, Guy finds himself in West Africa and, in his first campaign, manages to blot his copybook.
Guy Crouchback has lost his Halberdier idealism. A desk job in London gives him the chance of reconciliation with his former wife. Then, in Yugoslavia, as a liaison officer with the partisans, he finally becomes aware of the futility of a war he once saw in terms of honour.
Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh were two of the twentieth century's most amusing and gifted writers, who matched wits and traded literary advice in more than five hundred letters over twenty-two years. Dissecting their friends, criticizing each other's books and concealing their true feelings beneath a barrage of hilarious and knowing repartee, they found it far easier to conduct a friendship on paper than in person. This correspondence provides a colourful glimpse into the literary and social circles of London and Paris, during the Second World War and for twenty years after.