Waugh’s Selfie

In a recent post we mentioned Evelyn Waugh’s appearance in a response to  Spectator competition #3148-Selfie. This was set by Lucy Vickery in the 10,000th edition of the magazine:

‘Some famous painters are thought to have slipped small self-portraits into their work. What if a well-known novelist had done the same with an added minor character? You are invited to submit the resulting extract (up to 150 words and please specify the author).’

When the results of the competition were announced, the Waugh entry, alas, was not among the five winning entries. It did, however, receive what can fairly be described as an honorable mention by Lucy Vickery:

‘There were creditable Hemingway cameos […] and I enjoyed J C H Mounsey’s sketch of self-confessed misanthrope Evelyn Waugh, and Martin Hurst’s of the rather less self-aware Jeffrey Archer.’

After our reader/contributor Dave Lull contacted Mr Mounsey, he kindly agreed to our publication of his Waugh pastiche:

Presently another figure appeared. He was short and stout and wore a tweed suit in a rather noticeable check. He had a florid complexion and fierce blue eyes and seemed to be furious about something.

‘Where is my butler?’ he demanded, waving a walking stick.

The attendant stepped forward. ‘He is assisting Lord Brassock with his morning bath.’

The angry man considered this. ‘Oh. Well. If his lordship needs him .…’

‘Quite so,’ said the attendant. ‘If you will return to your room, I will call you when Mr Bossom reappears.’

‘Mr Wagg has been with us for many years,’ he said as the little man stumped off. ‘He is under the delusion that he has a large staff waiting on him. In fact, there is only myself, the other nurses won’t have anything to do with him.’

‘Why not?’ asked William.

‘Because he finds it so hard to be nice.’

(Evelyn Waugh)

Thanks to all concerned.



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