Waugh Included in “More Letters of Note”

Waugh’s 1942 letter to his wife recounting theĀ disastrous results of his army unit’s attempt to remove a tree stump from the garden of a Scottish aristocrat has now been included in a collection entitled More Letters of Note,Ā edited by Shaun Usher. It was previously read out at the Hay Festival in a performance called Letters Live and was then read by Geoffrey Palmer in an online video. See earlier post. Ā TheĀ book’s introduction to theĀ letter explains that at the time it was written, Laura Waugh found herself:

Back home, in dire need of someĀ light relief, holding fort whilstĀ just weeks away from the birth of their fourth child, Margaret. Entertainment soon arrived in the form of a letter from her husband in which he expertly and with pitch-perfect comic timing told the story of a tree stump on the Earl of Glasgow’s estate.

Other letters in the collection from members of Waugh’s generation include one from Aldous Huxley to George Orwell in 1949 thanking him for a copy of 1984 and explaining how much better it would been if it had been written like Brave New World. There is also a 1937 letter to 19 year oldĀ Jessica Mitford written by her but as from a French friend with a codedĀ explanation of Jessica’sĀ elopement with Esmond Romilly to the Spanish Civil War. The subterfuge was good enough to provide cover until they were safely beyond the border.

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