Waugh’s New Year’s Eve 1947

The Herald (Glasgow) has a story about Scottish New Year celebrations (known as Hogmanay) that starts with this reference to an Evelyn Waugh novel.

THERE’S a wonderful line about Hogmanay in Evelyn Waugh’s classic 1948 novel, The Loved One. Dennis Barlow, a young Englishman in Los Angeles, is talking to a young woman, Aimée Thanatogenos, whom he would like to get to know rather better. In a conversation he refers, casually, to Hogmanay.

“What is that?” she asks, intrigued.

“People being sick on the pavement in Glasgow”, Barlow tells her.

There were probably some such incidents on the last day of 1947 [in the photo heading the story] even if revellers seemed to forego the traditional bottle of whisky, at 3s 10d, in favour of sherry and port.

Although not mentioned in the Herald, Waugh embarked on 25 January 1947 from Southampton accompanied by  his wife on their trip to Los Angeles where he gathered the material used for The Loved One. This was first published about a year later in Horizon magazine for February 1948. The Herald story goes on to explain that more recently the venue for the primary Hogmanay celebration has shifted from Glasgow to Edinburgh from whence it is celebrated today.



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