The University of Leicester which is hosting the Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh project has issued a detailed Press Release about the publication of the first five volumes. The launch of the project is scheduled for later this week. Much of this information appeared earlier in an article in the Oxford Mail discussed in an earlier post. There is appended to the Press Release, however, new information about previously unpublished material that will appear in the 12 volumes of the Personal Writings series:
Before now, publication of Waugh’s private papers has been incomplete, diffuse, and unreliable.When Waugh’s diaries were first published by Michael Davie in 1976, Waugh had been dead only ten years and many of the people mentioned were still alive. Thus many passages which are now printable had, then, to be excised for fear of libel.
Personal Writings will contain the bulk of the unpublished work (c. 85% of the extant complete letters have never been printed), including in Vol 1 many sketches omitted by Davie. Other previously unpublished works will include: correspondence with prominent figures such as Randolph and Winston Churchill, Ian and Ann Fleming, Graham Greene, Alec Guinness, Nancy Mitford, George Orwell, Muriel Spark, P.G. Wodehouse, and Henry Yorke to name but a few. There are letters to and from Father D’Arcy – the Jesuit priest who received Waugh into the Catholic Church in 1930 – whose correspondence was withheld by the Jesuits for over 40 years, and letters to Teresa Jungman, to whom Waugh had unsuccessfully proposed, and who served as inspiration for some of his fiction. These letters, supposedly destroyed, were discovered by Alexander Waugh on a trip to Ireland in 2007, who has also unearthed around sixty transcribed letters to Mary Lygon, the originals of which were lost in a taxi.