The Faculty Seminar on British Studies and the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas-Austin will host a panel this Friday on the topic “Evelyn Waugh: His Visits to the United States.” The panel will consist of Martin Stannard and Barbara Cooke, both from the University of Leicester and the OUP Complete Works of Waugh Project in the UK, and Jeffrey Manley, a member of the Evelyn Waugh Society living in Austin. Here’s the University’s description of the program:
From the age of twenty-five, Waugh earned a substantial living as a novelist, journalist, and travel writer. His brilliant pre-war black comedies—Decline and Fall (1928), Vile Bodies (1930), Black Mischief (1932), A Handful of Dust (1934), and Scoop (1938)—were popular in Britain but sold only modestly in the United States.
Brideshead Revisited became an American bestseller in 1945. It
transformed his career. The three editors will discuss Waugh’s trips to the United States, not least California, where he became fascinated with American funeral services and invented the character Mr. Joyboy—the mortician who leaves a beaming smile on the faces of embalmed bodies.
Martin Stannard is Professor of Modern English Literature at the University of Leicester. Barbara Cooke is editing Waugh’s autobiography, A Little Learning. Jeffrey Manley is active in the Evelyn Waugh Society and has written about Waugh’s 1948-49 trips to the United States.
The panel will convene in the Tom Lea Rooms, Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center 3.206, Friday, 8 April 2016, 2:45 for 3:00.