Town & Country Remembers Waugh

This month 75 years ago Town & Country magazine, based in New York, completed the serial publication of Waugh’s novel Brideshead Revisited with its fourth monthly installment issued in February 1945. This abbreviated version preceded by several months the first book publication in May 1945. This was issued jointly by the Book Society and Chapman & Hall in London. There was no serial version in the UK.

So far, Town & Country seems not to have commemorated this event. It did mention it seveal years ago in a March 2014 article entitled T&C Family Album: Evelyn Waugh” by Adrienne Westenfield. The article opened with this:

Forward-thinking though his prose may have been, English writer Evelyn Waugh was a man who loved to look backward—at his debauched youth, at his spiritual journey, and at the erosion of the aristocracy, among other things. We like looking in that direction too, and so to our mutual delight, in November 1944, T&C published the first of three [sic] segments from Brideshead Revisited, Waugh’s swan song to the old English order that remains his best-loved novel. ,,,

She gets it slightly wrong in that there were four rather than three monthly installments of the novel. For more detailed informaton about the publication of the serial version, see article “Brideshead Serialized” in Evelyn Waugh Studies 50.2 (Autumn 2019).

T&C hasn’t forgotten Waugh entirely, however, as demonstatred in its current issue. This includes the report of a society wedding last summer. The bride, née Tatiana Hambro, is the great-granddaughter of  Lettice Lygon and wore a tiara once belonging to Lettice. As described in T&C:

The most important element of the final look, though, was the tiara. The Victorian piece comes through Tatiana’s paternal line, the Lygon family, who inspired the aristocratic Flytes in Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited. The tiara entered the family via Tatiana’s great-grandmother Lady Lettice Cotterell, née Lygon. The Lygons had a grand estate, Madresfield Court, where Waugh was a frequent guest. Years later, when writing his most important work, he based the Flytes on his hosts.

Lettice was the oldest sister of Dorothy and Mary Lygon who became friends of Waugh in the early 1930s and of Hugh and William who knew him from Oxford.

UPDATE (21 February 2020): Please note that the above posting was corrected in a few respects.

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