One thing that becomes clearer and clearer is that although Vile Bodies is a period piece, very much a 1930s novel-cum-play, the themes are utterly universal. Today women are still pressured to marry for financial gain as well as love. Homosexuality is still persecuted in some countries. Drug addicts are still, as Russell Brand discussed, considered criminals instead of mentally ill (or perhaps this is actually a transfer from the way Agatha is treated. One may never really know.)
More than that, however, is the fact we still have BYTs; we just call them the Glitterati. Bloggers, artists, online talents and purveyors of good taste have become the new Bright Young Things. One only need look at The Sartorialist or Jak & Jil to see the reams of beautiful people in groups at parties in fabulous locations in this season’s must-have colours and styles. To us the BYTs can seem alien and inane because they’re a group of silly toffs, but they aren’t. They’re an everyday occurrence. Gossip Girl and Heat Magazine serve the same purpose Evelyn Waugh’s cast did just decades ago.