"He's supposed to have a particularly high-class style: 'Feather-footed through the plashy fen passes the questing vole' ... would that be it?"
"Yes," said the Managing Editor. "That must be good style."
The major English comic novelist Evelyn Arthur St. John Waugh, b. London, Oct. 28, 1903, d. Apr. 10, 1966, wrote some of the most brilliant and bitingly satirical novels of his day. His formal innovations, notably the assimilation of several inconsequential plots into an ordered whole, and his love for the bizarre and for black humor have influenced a generation of younger writers. After graduating from Oxford, Waugh studied art and taught school. He became a convert to Roman Catholicism in 1930. Later, as a reporter, he covered the Italo-Ethiopian War (1935-36), an experience that was given fictional form in Scoop (1938). When World War II broke out, Waugh joined the Royal Marines and later the Royal Horse Guard, serving in North Africa, Crete, and Yugoslavia. Upon his discharge he retired to Somerset, which he made his home until his death.
A high degree of sophistication and a caustic wit displayed in highly polished, deceptively simple prose are the marks of such works as Decline and Fall (1928), Vile Bodies (1930), Black Mischief (1932), A Handful of Dust (1934), and Put Out More Flags (1942). A travel book, When the Going Was Good, appeared in 1946. In his later, more serious novels--such as Brideshead Revisited (1945) and the wartime trilogy made up of Men at Arms (1952), Officers and Gentlemen (1955), and Unconditional Surrender (1961)--Waugh's conservative Catholicism, arch-Tory views, and deep-seated pessimism increasingly influence his themes. The Hollywood way of death is the subject of his only novel set in the United States, The Loved One (1948). The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold (1957) is a semiautobiographical account of a novelist who suffers from hallucinations. A Little Learning (1964) covers the author's youth and education, and Waugh's posthumous Diaries (1976) disclose the identities of many of the specific personalities and institutions ridiculed in his novels.
Auberon Alexander Waugh, b. Nov. 17, 1939, the elder son of Evelyn Waugh, is a well-known author and journalist.
Text Copyright © 1993 Grolier Incorporated
If you have any information regarding finding audio tapes and/or transcripts of interviews that Waugh did with the BBC, please get in touch with me. Thank you.
Cow Hill Press, P.O Box 3022, E.T. Station, Commerce, TX 75429 offers the following Waugh items: _Evelyn Waugh in Letters by Terence Greenidge (1961-1969)_. 1994. 202 pp. Price, including handling, $24 _"The Scarlet Woman, An Ecclesiastical Melodrama"_ by Evelyn Wuagh and Terence Lucy Greenidge. Video cassette, 45 minutes, dubbed from a silent film produced by the Oxford University Film Club. Scenario by Waugh. Features Elsa Lanchester in her first film role. $50 postpaid. The following items, all o.p., are also available from Cow Hill: Davis, Robert Murray. _Evelyn Waugh, Writer_. Pilgrim, 1991. $12.00 _Evelyn Waugh, Apprentice: The Early Writings 1910-1927_. Ed. Robert Murray Davis. Pilgrim, 1985. $12.00 Doyle, Paul A. _A Reader's Companion to the Novels and Short Stories of Evelyn Waugh, an Annotated Glossary_. Pilgrim, 1988. $15.00
[Thanks to Bob Davis for forwarding these along to us.]
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