Evelyn and Kick (Still More)

Two more London papers have published articles about Paula Byrne’s new book on Kathleen Kennedy, entitled Kick. See earlier posts. The Daily Mail features it as the Book of the Week. Waugh is prominently mentioned in that review, by Ginny Dougary, in connection with the marriage of Kathleen, a Roman Catholic, to William Hartington, an Anglican:

They want to marry but struggle to overcome their gravest obstacle: their different faiths. Evelyn Waugh, with all the zeal of the new convert, was the most judgmental of Kick’s friends when – after many discussions with religious advisers – she finally found a way to marry her man. Waugh warned she’d go to hell (while using her plight for Julia Flyte falling in love with an Anglican in Brideshead Revisited).

The comparison of Hartington, who was by all reports a devout Anglican, and Rex Mottram, who was at best an opportunist when it came to religion, should not be overstated. Rex’s marriage created far more serious issues in the novel, not least the existence of a previous wife which he had failed to disclose. Kathleen’s marriage issues would, however, have been fresh in Waugh’s mind when he was writing Brideshead. 

The Daily Telegraph publishes a summary of the book by Byrne in which she says that she came to the subject as a result of her research on her earlier book about Waugh, Mad World.

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