Evelyn Waugh at the National Trust, Edinburgh Festival and Houston,TX

Evelyn Waugh is appearing all over the place in today’s media reports:

In the internet newspaper iNews, there is a story about problems being rained upon the National Trust, one of Britain’s once most beloved institutions. The Trust are the stewards of many of the country houses that Waugh feared would be lost when he wrote Brideshead Revisited in 1944. The article quotes Waugh’s remark in the 1959 introduction he wrote for the revised edition that “it was impossible to foresee, in the spring of 1944, the present cult of the English country house.” It was the National Trust that fostered that cult and is now struggling.

At the Edinburgh Festival, Letters Live sponsored a reading of Waugh’s 1942 letter to his wife about the disastrous Commando removal of Lord Glasgow’s tree (Letters, 160-61). This time the reading was by comedian Al Murray. The previous and more restrained reading by actor Geoffrey Palmer is far superior. See previous post.

Finally, in a chat on The American Conservative’s weblog relating to the “God is Dead” debate, a commenter noted:

Evelyn Waugh would have made much of the fact that years ago, a Houston megachurch had a restaurant called, “The Garden of Eatin’.” I presume this was birthed by that church’s advertising/PR consultants.

Houston is also noted for a major street called Waugh Drive which carries traffic across the Buffalo Bayou. The Waugh Drive Bridge over the bayou is famous for housing a large bat colony which is a well-known tourist attraction. The bayou is currently flooded by hurricane Harvey, and Waugh Drive is closed to traffic. What has become of the bat colony that lived underneath the bridge can only be imagined. One also wonders how Houstonians pronounce “Waugh Drive.” Since most Brits mispronounce their city as “Hooston,” the residents may have devised some outlandish pronunciation of the street and bridge to get their own back.

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