Tatler’s List of Snobs

The Tatler magazine has published a list of the great snobs of history. This is written by Sophia Money-Coutts and author-critic D J Taylor.  Taylor has recently written a book on this subject (The New Book of Snobs) and the entry for Waugh may have come from there: 

As a teenager, the writer habitually walked down the road from his parents’ house in Golders Green, NW11, to post his letters in Hampstead, where they would carry the NW3 Post Office frank.

As noted in an earlier post, there seems to be little support for this particular but apocryphal aspect of Waugh’s snobbery, although other indicia are not hard to find.

There is an interesting phenomenon at work in this list of 9 “great” snobs. Fully 2/3 are members of Waugh’s generation: Virginia Woolf (thought James Joyce’s writing showed evidence of  “working class” origins), Tom Driberg (Waugh’s school friend, who took care that there would be no sauce bottles displayed on his table at a Labour Party conference), James Lees-Milne (thought stupid toffs made better company than intelligent yobs), Gerry Wellington, and Edward Sackville-West (never met anyone who thought an inherited title wasn’t better than one bestowed by the monarch). Even the lives of the two more recent exemplars (Alan Clark and Princess Margaret) overlapped with Waugh’s and are now dead. Would this indicate that snobbery has died out or is the Tatler afraid of offending some of its readers?

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