The Tablet in this week’s edition reprints from its archives the obituary of Evelyn Waugh which appeared 50 years ago on 16 April 1966:
When Evelyn Waugh died suddenly on Sunday morning, after attending Mass celebrated by his friend Fr Philip Caraman, it was a merciful dispensation at the end. He had been unwell for a long time, much troubled by insomnia, and a great depression of spirits. From early manhood he had suffered from ennui, an affliction which ought to be classed among the major ails to which suffering humanity is exposed. Gifted with great perceptive power and swift intelligence, he saw to the end of situations before they had time to unfold, realised how much or how little they contained, and found any excessive expectations so constantly cheated that he came to anticipate very little pleasure, and at most a mild and ephemeral mitigation of a heaviness of spirit. I remember once when he had ordered champagne in the afternoon at White’s, and when it came he gazed sadly at it and said: “One thinks it will be enjoyable, and then when it comes, it isn’t”; and that was only too often what happened to him.