Literary Guides Link Waugh and Madresfield

Two guide books to houses with literary associations have linked Evelyn Waugh to Madresfield Court in Worcestershire. That was the home of the Lygon family and inspired certain features of Brideshead Castle and the Flyte family in Waugh’s¬†Brideshead Revisited. The guide books discussing this connection are Writers’ Houses by Nick Channer which was published last year and is currently for sale¬†and¬†The House of Fiction by Phyllis Richardson which is currently looking for crowdfunding on the internet. The¬†prospectus of Richardson’s book describes the following chapter:

10. War-torn Nostalgia: Evelyn Waugh plots Charles Ryder’s return to Brideshead while a guest at Madresfield

Waugh’s association¬†with Madresfield Court and the Flyte family has previously been developed and documented¬†by Waugh’s biographers.¬†This includes, most recently, Paula Byrne’s Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead and Jane Mulvagh’s Madresfield: One House, One Family, One Thousand Years.¬†Contrary to the suggestion in the second guidebook’s prospectus, Waugh’s novel¬†was not written or “plotted” while he¬†was a guest at Madresfield. It was, in fact, mostly written at¬†Chagford, Devon, in February-June 1944, as indicated by Waugh¬†at¬†the novel’s conclusion. Waugh did write a novel¬†while ¬†a guest at Madresfield (at least partially), but that was Black Mischief.¬†Channer¬†writes that the desk at which Waugh composed¬†the novel is still on display at Madresfield.

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