Evelyn Waugh, d. 10 April 1966, R.I.P.

Today is the 54th anniversary of the death of Evelyn Waugh. His death occurred on what was Easter Sunday, and he had attended Mass earlier in the day. He died after returning to his home in Combe Florey and is buried between his house and the adjacent churchyard.

This year the anniversary falls on what is Good Friday in the Western Christian Churches. The website of St Thomas Aquinas College (with campuses in both Ojai, California and Northfield, Massachusetts) has posted an article by one of its  alumnae appropriate to this date:

…I’m reminded of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited. (When am I not, though?) In the story, Cordelia mourns the departure of the Blessed Sacrament from the small chapel at Brideshead after the death of her mother, the matriarch of the manor. The chapel’s holy water founts are drained, the dancing red flame of the tabernacle lamp is quenched, and suddenly the world seems far lonelier and bleaker. Cordelia sadly remembers the prophet Jeremiah’s lamentations over the destruction of the once-beautiful city of Jerusalem; “Quomodo sedet sola civitas,” or, “How lonely sits the city that was once full of people.”

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