A letter from Evelyn Waugh to the editors of The Times newspaper is included in a recently published collection entitled The Times’ Great Letters. The book is described in an article in today’s edition of the paper written by its current letters editor Andrew Riley. It also includes letters from Waugh’s contemporaries Agatha Christie, Benito Mussolini, PG Wodehouse and Arthur Conan Doyle. Here’s the letter from Waugh, which is also reproduced in the article:
October 16, 1961
Sir, You say in your leading article today, “No one has ever suggested that novels should have indexes.” I possess a translation of Tolstoy’s Resurrection, published by Messrs Grosset and Dunlap of New York and “illustrated from the photoplay produced by Inspiration Pictures Inc”, which has a particularly felicitous index. The first entry is: “Adultery, 13, 53, 68, 70”; the last is “Why do people punish? 358.” Between them occurs such items as: Cannibalism, Dogs, Good breeding, Justification of one’s position, Seduction, Smoking, Spies, and Vegetarianism. I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
This letter is also included in the Mark Amory collection along with five others to the paper (if you include TLS). In the Amory edition, the letter is dated 13 October 1961 whereas in the paper it was apparently dated 16 October which may have been the date it appeared in print.