The Winter 2019 issue of the Society’s journal Evelyn Waugh Studies No. 50.3 has been issued. It is posted at this link. The contents are set out below:
“Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead and Castle Howard” by Jeffrey Manley
Castle Howard has become inextricably connected in the public perception with Evelyn Waugh’s novel Brideshead Revisited. This is due more to its selection as a setting for two popular film adaptations than to what was written by Waugh himself. And yet because of the overwhelming effectiveness of the portrayals of Waugh’s story in these films (or at least the earlier Granada TV production), even some literary scholars have come to accept the identity of Castle Howard as the setting intended in Waugh writings. The purpose of this paper is to compare Waugh’s descriptions of Brideshead Castle to Castle Howard itself and to review the process of the filmmakers in selecting that site as the setting for the story. The paper will then consider to what extent the identification of Castles Howard and Brideshead can be attributed to Waugh and what to the film adaptations.
Another question arises relating to the source for the Flyte family itself. They are clearly identified with the Lygon family who lived in Worcestershire at Madresfield Court. To some extent, Sebastian Flyte has similarities to Hugh Lygon, who was the second son of the Lygons and had a serious drinking problem that contributed to his early death. Hugh was to have been Waugh’s flat-mate in his final term at Oxford if Waugh had not left without finishing his degree. Hugh’s father, Lord Beauchamp, was forced into exile by homosexuality, whereas Lord Marchmain exiled himself by choice to escape his domineering wife and her religion in favor of his Italian mistress. Few among Waugh’s friends missed these connections. But to spare the Lygon family further embarrassment, Waugh provided thefictional Brideshead Castle and its residents with identities that are intended to distinguish them from the Lygons and Madresfield. His efforts in this regard were more successful in the case of distinguishing the houses than it was the families.
“The Ghosts of Romance”, Lost Girls: Love, War and Literature 1939-1951, Constable, 2019. 384 pp. £25.00, or Lost Girls: Love and Literature in Wartime London, Pegasus, 2020. 336 pp. $28.95, by D. J. Taylor. Reviewed by Jeffrey Manley
UPDATE (26 March 2020): A link to EWS 50.3 has been added.