Waugh Appears in Two New Novels

Two new novels reviewed in recent press reports contain appearances by Evelyn Waugh. A Man Lies Dreaming by Lavie Tidhar is reviewed in today’s New York Times. It is variously described as a “wild spoof” and a “scabrous pulp-noir.” It has several story lines, but the main one assumes that the National Socialists lost power in 1930s Germany, and many of them have fetched up in 1939 London. A private detective known as “Wolf” (a thinly disguised Adolf Hitler) plays a major role, and among his encounters is the following, described by reviewer Daphne Merkin as one of the books “few cunning historical touches.” This is a

… comically engaging scene in which Wolf attends a book party peopled with Stephen Spender, Evelyn Waugh and Christopher Isherwood, where he argues with a publisher who rejected “Mein Kamp.”  

The second novel implicates a Waugh character rather than Waugh himself. This is Freya by Anthony Quinn, his fifth novel, and involves characters from an earlier mystery that takes place in 1930s London Theatreland (probably referring to Curtain Call). It follows the story of the title character from VE Day through the 1960s. According to the reviewer in the Ilkley Gazette:

Themes of the day are inevitably interwoven into the plot, so characters discuss the merits of Evelyn Waugh (Nathaniel Fane is a dead ringer for Anthony Blanche) and the Cambridge spies.

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