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Brideshead Revisited

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Summary

Book 2: Chapter 3

Summary Book 2: Chapter 3

Summary: Book 2: Chapter 3

Charles returns to London in May of 1926 to fight against England’s general strike. At a party for returning expats, Charles runs into Anthony Blanche and Boy Mulcaster. Anthony mentions that Sebastian had visited his place in Marseille the previous year. They went to Tangier, where Sebastian befriended a former member of the German foreign legion. 

Charles leaves the party with Mulcaster. Mulcaster believes fighting the strike is their generation’s version of World War I. At Mulcaster’s encouragement, Charles joins the Defence Corps, but he only ends up fighting once. The next day the strike gets called off. 

Julia calls Charles to tell him Lady Marchmain wishes to see him. Charles visits the Marchmain house, but Lady Marchmain is too ill for company. Julia explains that Lady Marchmain is dying and wants to apologize to Charles. She also wants Charles to find Sebastian and bring him back to England before she dies.

Charles travels to Morocco, where Anthony believes Sebastian is staying, and dines with the British consul. The consul reveals Sebastian has been living in a less touristy town. Charles goes to find him.

Charles meets Kurt, Sebastian’s German friend, at Sebastian’s flat. Kurt left Germany because there were no opportunities and purposely shot himself in the foot to get out of the Foreign Legion. When Charles reveals that Sebastian’s mother is dying, Kurt asks why she doesn’t give Sebastian more money if she’s rich. He reveals that Sebastian is sick at a hospital.

Charles goes to the hospital where Sebastian has been staying, which is run by Franciscan monks. The monk who brings Charles to Sebastian’s room praises Sebastian’s goodness and patience. Sebastian is defensive when he sees Charles. Even though drinking causes some people to gain weight, he looks thinner than ever. He still sneaks alcohol. The monks tell Charles Sebastian must leave by the end of the week.