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Brideshead Revisited

Brideshead Revisited

by Evelyn Waugh

Mr. Ryder (Charles’s Father) Timeline and Summary

  • After the Warden recommends that Mr. Ryder give his son 300 pounds a year as an allowance, Mr. Ryder deliberately gives him 550.
  • Charles describes his father. He is about fifty, but appears to be seventy. He wears a formal smoking jacket to dinner and spends all day in the library instead of interacting with his son.
  • Mr. Ryder joyfully torments his son about having run out of money early, without offering any solace or advice.
  • Charles reveals some back-story: Mrs. Ryder died when he was young and his Aunt Phillipa – Mr. Ryder’s sister – came to live with them. Mr. Ryder ultimately drove her out, as he says, leaving him to live his days alone in peace.
  • Mr. Ryder amuses himself by pretending that Charles’s very British friend is American and making snide-but-subtle comments to the man’s face.
  • Mr. Ryder designs dinner parties with guests designed specifically to irritate his son.
  • When he finally meets Sebastian, Mr. Ryder finds him "very amusing."
  • When Charles asks if it’s OK for him to drop out of Oxford, Mr. Ryder responds that he’s 22 and capable of making his own decisions (Charles is, in fact, 20).
  • When Charles is preparing to divorce Celia, Mr. Ryder advises against it. He was under the impression that they were a happy couple, and also, thirty-four is too old to be getting divorced.

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