Waugh on Weddings

As the month of June approaches, Moira Redmond was inspired to contribute an article to the Guardian newspaper for May 20, 2014 entitled “Marriage plots: the best wedding dresses in literature.” The article is included in a regular column called Books Blog and may appear only in the paper’s internet edition. After trolling through history to mention obvious literary weddings in novels such as virtually all those of Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre, and Nancy Mitford’s Pursuit of Love, Redmond decided to include a sample from Waugh’s writings as well. Wedding scenes, at least happy ones, are a bit thin on the ground in Waugh’s fiction. Most notably one thinks of the wedding of Julia Flyte and Rex Mottram which is described in Brideshead Revisited as a rather “squalid” affair in the chapel of the Savoy Hotel. But Redmond managed to come up with this quote from Waugh’s diaries in which the writer

rather charmingly describes his daughter Margaret getting married in 1962 “in a tea gown of her great-grandmother’s out of the acting cupboard, used in countless charades.”

Proceeding through the post-Waugh years with references to Margaret Drabble, W.G. Sebald and Donna Tartt, Redmond reaches the following rather laconic conclusion:

Weddings have much less place in modern literary fiction–perhaps authors are leaving the subject to what they consider to be chicklit. But surely some same-sex weddings are turning up in books now?


This entry was posted in Articles, Brideshead Revisited, Diaries, Miscellaneous, Waugh Family and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.