Waughs Feature in Spectator Strip Cartoon

Evelyn Waugh and his son Auberon feature in this week’s strip cartoon in the Spectator’s “Title Stories” column. The cartoon is by Gary Dexter and is entitled “Writers’ Letters: Evelyn Waugh on Auberon Waugh.” The first panel shows an accurate representation of Waugh writing a letter. The strip takes as its subject a letter Waugh wrote on 11 February 1956 to Brian Franks, Managing Director of the Hyde Park Hotel and opens “My boy, aged 16, is very restless at school. He has not been sacked and he passes his various exams with credit but he is anxious to get away from school” (Letters, p. 463). In succeeding panels it explains that Auberon is interested in the hotel trade and concludes “He is taller and bettered mannered than his father. Do you think there is an opening for him?” That final panel has an exaggerated picture of thin, red-headed son hugely exceeding his pudgy father in height. The second panel, which shows a schoolboy crucified in a school yard, has a drawing of a building in the background that looks rather more like Eton than Downside, but it is a cartoon after all.

Elsewhere in the Spectator, the lead book review is by Alexander Waugh in which he considers a book by Reza Aslan entitled God, described as:

… a brief and lively history of the development of the God-like type over 12 millennia. Aslan writes in clear, concise and attractive English. He is intelligent and has an uncommon ability both to marshal and contextualise seemingly random facts, and is skilful at condensing complex ideas into short, effortless paragraphs. But despite his claims to high scholarship, he is at heart a popular historian. Even his end-notes are fun.

Although not mentioned, Alexander previously wrote a book of the same title and similar subject matter.

Finally, there is also an essay by Theo Hobson (“Martin Luther’s genius was to teach us that feeble faith is enough”) in which Evelyn Waugh is compared to Martin Luther. This is in particular connection with Waugh’s explanation to Edith Sitwell and Nancy Mitford that without his religion he would be an even worse person than he was.

UPDATE (3 November 2017): The two final paragraphs were added.

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