Folio Society Profiles Waugh Illustrators

On its website, the Folio Society has profiled the illustrators of four Waugh novels. These are newly issued or reissued in special Folio Society editions and are all currently available for sale through links in the article:

Vile Bodies is illustrated by Kate Baylay, “working with a combination of pencil, watercolour and digital media. The alluring illustrations and fashionable style call on Aubrey Beardsley to perfectly depict the decadence behind the Bright Young Things’ frivolous nature.”

The Loved One is the reissue of an earlier Folio Society edition. Illustrations consist of eight paintings commissioned from well-known British artist Beryl Cook (1926-2008). “Her interpretation of the novel is inspired – whether depicting the ‘gorgeous little casket’ of a deceased pet parrot or Mrs Joyboy’s ‘positively insulting clothes.’” This is the most striking of the illustrations, one of which is included for each book in the Folio Society’s article. It depicts Mrs Joyboy in the foreground sitting next to her parrot, with her son and apparently Aimee Thanatogenos in the background. The portrait of Mrs Joyboy is wholly consistent with Waugh’s description, but Aimee is more Beryl Cook than Waugh.

Black Mischief is illustrated with line drawings by Quentin Blake. “With a keen eye for the absurd, Blake’s restless pen wittily captures the denizens and the details of Azania.”

Brideshead Revisited is the most recently published of this selection. It was illustrated by wood engraver Harry Brockway. “Here, he has created two-colour stylised scenes that take us straight back to Brideshead and its characters’ devil-may-care lives.”

Two of the editions have introductions commissioned by the Folio Society: Vile Bodies by David Lodge, President of the Evelyn Waugh Society, and Brideshead Revisited by novelist and critic A N Wilson. The Loved One has an introduction adapted from Christopher Sykes’s biography of Evelyn Waugh.


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