This is a reminder that Rebecca Moore will lecture tomorrow (Tuesday, 25 July) at Maggs Bros books on her recent research into Waugh’s graphic art. The lecture is at 630pm in Maggs Bros new premises at 48 Bedford Square, London WC1. See earlier post.
Meanwhile, several other publications have issued reviews of the ongoing exhibit of Waugh’s graphic art at Maggs Bros. This includes the internet page of art publishers Phaidon which begin its article:
Evelyn Waugh used to illustrate his own books. This might come as a surprise to those who think of the British novelist and journalist as a writer, rather than a visual artist. However, a new exhibition at Maggs Bros Rare Books in London should persuade any doubters of his lesser-known talents.
A N Devers writing in Fine Books and Collections Magazine started a review of a gallery visit with this report of a conversation with Ed Maggs:
To a bustling crowd of bibliophiles and collectors, Managing Director Ed Maggs briskly handed out white wine and led newcomers over to a simple and unusual untitled original pen and ink drawing by Evelyn Waugh, that he then declared the inspiration for the entire exhibition.
Signed and dated 1929, the illustration depicts a hotel lounge of assorted denizens: a reader, a waiter, a cephalopod in a fish tank, and a bare-bottomed statue being prickled by a cactus–Maggs noted it is a possible unused illustration for Waugh’s novel Vile Bodies. In his introductory remarks, Maggs said of picture, “This [exhibition] began with this drawing. I am a dealer not a collector and I am seldom consumed by envy of others’ books and objects. I sold this drawing 25 years ago and Mark Everett bought it from under my nose last year. I was fuming. I was incandescent with jealousy. I, of course, would have probably sold it to him, but I would have had it for a few minutes. It is a tremendous thing.”
Anny Carpenter reported the event for Spear’s Magazine:
“Coinciding with the publication of the first volumes in the Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh by the Oxford University Press, highlights of the show include a hand-written manuscript of Waugh’s second novel, Vile Bodies (1930). Invaluable in its own right, the manuscript is accompanied by a colour proof of Waugh’s most famous design for the dust jacket and title page illustration, inscribed to his friends Brian and Diana Guinness: ‘This is to be the cover. Do you like it? I do.’ Part of the Elliot collection, the one-of-a-kind manuscript is being lent by the Brotherton Library of Leeds University…The exhibition shows us what might have happened if Waugh, who died at 62 in 1966, hadn’t decided to write: and while a wonderful show, on the whole I think he made the right choice in the end.”