OUP Announces New Waugh Volume

The Oxford University Press has announced a new volume in its ongoing Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh series. This will be CWEW Volume 10: The Loved One: An Anglo- American Tragedy. Its tentative UK release date is 23 April 2024 and the price is £130 (although a reduced price is also listed). Here’s the description:

‘A wicked book’, one reviewer called it. Evelyn Waugh’s eighth novel, The Loved One (1948), represents a return to the pungent satirical manner from which its predecessor Brideshead Revisited, three years earlier, had deviated. The prospect of Brideshead being turned into a film took its author to Los Angeles, where he became more interested in Forest Lawn Memorial-Park and its funeral rites than in Hollywood and its dreams of immortality. Or rather, ‘obsessed’ (his word) about the relations between them. Around these twin industries he spun a macabre fiction about an English poet and failed scriptwriter, an ingenuous young American beautician, and the master mortician for whom she works. A strong supporting cast features the English ex-patriate community and the Hollywood Cricket Club, the movie moguls and their henchmen, and the devotees serving the fictional ‘Whispering Glades’. The resulting story is one of Waugh’s funniest, yet it harbours an underlying gravity about the way the world (or the West) was going in the aftermath of global war. The Loved One is deeply coloured by memories of war. It may be concerned with the world of appearances to which Hollywood and Forest Lawn were dedicated, but this does not make it superficial. On the contrary. Waugh subtitled it ‘An Anglo-American Tragedy’, but it can be just as well understood as the most mordant of comedies, closer to the world of Samuel Beckett than of P. G. Wodehouse. Or better, an improbable combination of the two.

The book was edited by Prof. Adrian Poole who also wrote the introduction. Here’s his biography from the OUP posting:

Adrian Poole is Emeritus Professor of English Literature at the University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of Trinity College. He has strong interests in the traditions of tragedy from the Greeks to the present day and in the afterlives of Shakespeare. His books include Tragedy: A Very Short Introduction and Shakespeare and the Victorians. He has also written extensively on nineteenth-century novelists including Dickens, Eliot, Hardy, Stevenson, and James. He is one of the General Editors of the Complete Fiction of Henry James; his edition of The Princess Casamassima won the 2020 MLA Prize for a Scholarly Edition.

Here is a link to the OUP announcement with full ordering details.


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