A review of Philip Eade’s biography appears this week in conjunction with the publication of its paperback edition in the US. This is written by Lewis Whittington and is published by the Edge Media Network which serves the LGBT community. The reviewer is somewhat disappointed in Eade’s treatment of Waugh’s homosexuality:
For GLBTQ readers the primary interest will not only be Waugh’s gay relationships at Oxford, but the backdrop of sexually repressive England, where homosexuality was still a crime, yet gay subcultures were an open secret among the aristocracy. Waugh grew up in an aristocratic [sic] British family. … He was attracted to girls his age as a teenager, but his most intense emotional attachments were with boys…. The bulk of “A Life Revisited” centers around his relationship with his family, his heterosexual relationships, and his marriages. It disappoints that, on balance, Eade seems to gloss over Waugh’s serious relationships with men, particularly Richard Pares and Alastair Graham, who just fade from the pages without any narrative closure.
It’s hard to know where the reviewer gets the impression from Eade’s book that Waugh was from an “aristocratic British family” although he doesn’t attempt to make much of a point about it. The amount of Eade’s copy devoted to Waugh’s homosexual affairs is probably in a fair proportion to the amount of his lifetime they occupied. He certainly doesn’t avoid the issue; rather, he doesn’t dwell upon it as the reviewer seems to prefer. A previous review in the LGBT press (noted in an earlier post) offers a more detailed and balanced view of Eade’s coverage of Waugh’s homosexuality.