In the winter of 1939, Lord Marchmain decides to return to Brideshead from Venice in view of the deteriorating international situation. It soon becomes apparent that he is in declining health and has in fact come home to die. He has taken a dislike to Bridey's new wife and suggests he may leave Brideshead Castle to Julia and Charles. Religion - specifically whether Lord Marchmain will accept the last rites - becomes an issue. Charles simply cannot understand or accept the family's religious beliefs but in his dying moments, Lord Marchmain does provide a sign indicating his wishes. The entire episode forever changes Charles and Julia's relationship. In the spring of 1944, Charles, now an army Captain, living on the grounds of Brideshead Castle, walks the corridors of a place he knows so well and remembers the life that is past him.
Did You Know?
When Lord Marchmain returns to Brideshead, he is accommodated on the ground floor (in the "Chinese drawing room").
However, when Charles Ryder is being shown around the castle by a commanding officer some years later, the two walks up a flight of stairs to the second floor where they enter the (same) "Chinese drawing room", intact with all details. See more
[Lord Marchmain is dying. The priest has called to adminster the Last Rites but Cordelia has sent him away for now, saying "Papa doesn't want him yet"
Charles, I see great church trouble ahead.
Can't they even let him *die* in peace?
They mean something so different by "peace".
It would be an outrage. No-one could have made it plainer, in his life, what he thought of religion. If they come to him now when his mind's wandering and he hasn't the strength to resist, and claim him as a death-bed ...