Evelyn Waugh rates two mentions in this week’s issues of the Daily Mail. Gossip columnist Ephraim Hardcastle has this takeaway from Philip Eade’s biography:
Was literary giant Evelyn Waugh, who died in 1966 aged 62, a paedophile? According to a new study, Evelyn Waugh: A Life Revisited by Philip Eade, he wrote a letter home in the 1930s, after his first marriage had failed, describing a visit to the red light district of Fez, Morocco, saying: ‘It was very gay and there were little Arab girls of 15 & 16 for ten francs each & a cup of mint tea. So I bought one but I didn’t enjoy her very much because she had skin like sandpaper and a huge stomach.’ He preferred another, Fatima, who was ‘brown in colour and had a gold tooth she is very proud of but, as we can’t talk each other’s language, there is not much to do in between rogering’. The old snob would be banged up today.
Is Hardcastle applying the standards of current British or Moroccan law, I wonder?
The Mail is also still trailing the production company filming the BBC’s series of Decline and Fall in Wales and has published this story with photos. The story (and more especially the photos) concentrate on the activities of actress Eva Longoria who is playing the part of Margot Beste-Chetwynde:
Eva …toured Castle Cardiff during her time off. Decline and Fall, set in the 1920s, also stars comedian Jack Whitehall, Poirot’s David Suchet and This Is England’s Stephen Graham. The Texan [Eva grew up in Corpus Christi] said: ‘So we’ve just been told that sometimes a guy from the castle comes back as a ghost and sits in this dining room,’ she says during a Snapchat video filmed during her visit. ‘I’m freaking out that the place is haunted and that he (the castle’s previous owner) comes back for dinner every night.’ Eva’s probably referring to the second Marquess of Bute, who began the restoration of Cardiff Castle prior to his death in 1848 and who is said to appear walking through the fireplace in the library.