Columnist Jennifer Selway in her Daily Express entertainment gossip column brings Evelyn Waugh into a literary scholarship cat fight between Waugh biographer Paula Byrne, PhD (Liverpool), and BBC historical TV presenter Lucy Worsley, DPhil (Sussex), both of whom have also written recent books about Jane Austen:
LUCY WORSLEY, TV’s history kitten, who loves to dress up, has been accused of plagiarising a book about Jane Austen by fellow author Paula Byrne. Bits of Lucy’s book sound ever so much like bits of Paula’s book … Meanwhile let me recommend another of Paula Byrne’s books, published a few years back. Mad World: Evelyn Waugh And The Secrets Of Brideshead tells the louche, compelling story of the Lygon family, the inspiration for the Brideshead clan … If Lucy Worsley ever does a book on this we can look forward to her subsequent TV series wearing Oxford bags and clutching a teddy bear called Aloysius.
The discovery of the alleged plagiarism was announced in the current issue of Private Eye (No 1443) in an article entitled “Playing fast and Lucy.”