David Pryce-Jones Reviews Eade Biography

David Pryce-Jones, son of author Alan Pryce-Jones who was Waugh’s near contemporary at Oxford but not close friend, has reviewed Philip Eade’s biography of Waugh in the National Review. He begins with an apology for having written an unfavorable review of Sword of Honour in his 20s and continues with a memoir of his own youthful contacts with Waugh:

My first meeting with Waugh had been at a lunch party in the highly respectable Randolph Hotel in Oxford. Teresa Waugh, his eldest daughter, had invited a dozen of her university contemporaries. In the course of the meal, someone said that the person we were speaking about had children and therefore wasn’t homosexual. “Nonsense, buggers have babies,” said Waugh in a voice that stopped conversation throughout the dining room. “Lord Beauchamp had six, Oscar had two, and even little Loulou Harcourt managed one.” (I could place Lord Beauchamp and Oscar Wilde but little Loulou was an unknown quantity to me.) That same term, Teresa further invited me for the weekend at Combe Florey, the Waugh house in Somerset. As we drove up to the door after three hours on the road, Waugh leaned out of a first-floor window shouting, “Go away!” There seemed to be nothing for it. We duly turned around and left. A year or two later, I received a letter in his handwriting but oddly signed in the name of Laura, his wife, inviting me to a white-tie dance. A military band played “The Post Horn Gallop,” music for brass to which it is impossible to dance. The moment midnight struck, Waugh clapped his hands and dismissed everybody.

The remainder of the review, in which Pryce-Jones presumably gives his assessment of Eade’s book, is available only with a subscription. If any of our readers has access to it, they may wish to comment below.

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