Waugh’s Conversion

In an article posted on a Roman Catholic evangelical weblog Aleteia.org, the details of Evelyn Waugh’s conversion to that religion are provided, mostly in Waugh’s own words from a 20 October 1930 essay in the Daily Express. Waugh had written the essay (“Converted to Rome: Why it Happened to Me”) to quell what he deemed misinformation that was circulating about his motivations:

Immediately upon hearing the news, the gossip industry caught fire. How had the “ultramodernist become an ultramontanist”? How could the shocking wit who fathered novels such as Decline and Fall and Vile Bodies fall sway to the stiff and stultifying orthodoxy of the Catholic Church? …At first, Waugh shrugged off three assertions leveled by his detractors: 1) The Jesuits have got hold of him, 2) He is captivated by the ritual, and 3) He wants to have his mind made up for him.

A long excerpt from Waugh’s essay continues the weblog’s article. The complete essay, which covered a full page generously provided by the Daily Express, is available in Waugh’s Essays, Articles and Reviews, p. 103.

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