Thanksgiving Roundup

–Author William Giraldi contributed an essay to Commonweal magazine as part of a series in which Roman Catholic intellectuals explain why they have left or remained in the church. A Catholic from birth, his article was posted on the magazine’s website earlier this week and is entitled “Why I left…and yet…” Here’s an excerpt from the conclusion:

…I am a Catholic—in culture, in imagination, in storytelling, in my specific grammar of understanding—because of Dante and Hopkins and Chesterton, Flannery O’Connor and Walker Percy, Graham Greene and Evelyn Waugh and Simone Weil, because I can’t undo the determining effects their work had on my notion of what literature and thought should be. Nor can I undo my upbringing and the influence it still exerts on my sensibility. […]

When Orwell, writing about Waugh, remarked that one really can’t be Catholic and grown-up at the same time, he was getting at the wild implausibility at the hub of Christianity. But “God” and “Christ” are, above all, terms of poetry, of allegory and metaphor and myth. […]

My new regard for the artistic possibilities of my Catholic past coincided with my rising certainty that unless a novel sets out to confront the sublime, the sacred, the state of the soul—and I mean soul in both the sacral and the secular sense—the novelist is not firing on all eight cylinders. If fiction writers are content to fashion only worn simulacrums of reality, more domestic dramas—the marriage is shot, the bills are due—then they’re barring themselves from an inner cosmos it is art’s job to encounter. The clergy don’t have exclusive say over the sacred; it is the province of writers and poets too.

Giraldi’s novel Hold the Dark was recently made into a motion picture by Netflix.

The Catholic Herald also has an article on the same subject by Mathew Schmitz which contains this reference to Waugh’s letter dated 2 September 1952 to Clarissa Eden whom Waugh was rather persecuting for her marriage to Anthony Eden who was divorced (Letters, p. 381):

When a woman he loved decided to leave the Catholic Church, Evelyn Waugh inquired: “Did you never think how you were contributing to the loneliness of Calvary by your desertion?” Like so much of Waugh’s writing, this was unkind – and absolutely correct.

–Religious historian and blogger Stephanie Mann recommends Waugh’s Robbery Under Law as appropriate reading for the day of remembrance of the Roman Catholic martyr Miguel Pro:

On the memorial of Blessed Miguel Pro the Jesuit priest executed on November 23, 1927 in Mexico, it seems appropriate to remember how Evelyn Waugh, in the introduction to the second edition of his biography of then Blessed Edmund Campion, mentioned that the “Martyrdom of Father Pro in Mexico re-enacted Campion’s in faithful detail” and that the “haunted, trapped, murdered priest is our contemporary.”

She also includes several extended quotes from Robbery Under Law on the subject.

–The online literary magazine Literary Hub has posted a collection of antiquarian dust wrappers, among which is one created by Evelyn Waugh for one of his own novels. The collection was put together by Emily Temple who explains the dust wrapper as we know it today:

…didn’t even exist until the 1820s, and in the beginning they were usually plain, utilitarian things meant quite literally to prevent the books from gathering dust, and they were often discarded by booksellers before display, as much more effort was put into the cloth or cardboard bindings underneath. But beginning at the turn of the last century, publishers began producing decorated dust jackets and simpler bindings (for one thing, it was a lot cheaper), and by 1920 this was the norm.

So just for fun, and because it’s almost the holidays and we all need some Feel Good Content, I’ve collected 32 beautiful, interesting, or otherwise appealing dust jackets of classic works, mostly from the 1920s and 30s. NB that I left off a lot of classics whose covers would be familiar to contemporary readers—no one needs to see that same old covers of The Great Gatsby or Gone With the Wind on a list like this. You’ve seen them a million times already. But have you seen the first edition of Decline and Fall, designed by Evelyn Waugh himself? Either way, read on for some fine and utterly unproblematic book porn.

Readers may be interested to know that a copy of the Waugh dust wrapper illustrated in the article is available from Facsimile Dust Jackets LLC. They also have others available.

–Finally, Scoop features in two recent press reports. In Money Week, a UK-based financial magazine, Matthew Partridge sees in it a lesson for today’s investors who seem to be spooked by their perceptions of technology companies:

Early in the story, one of the old hands, Corker, gives Boot a crash course in journalism, relating the story of Wenlock Jakes, a “star” foreign correspondent whose reports are “syndicated all over America”. On one occasion Jakes accidentally goes to the wrong country, but his completely fictitious report about a revolution is then picked up by other journalists who repeat and embellish it. The result: “government stocks dropped, financial panic, state of emergency declared”. “In less than a week there was an honest to God revolution under way.” […]

The idea that perceptions help create the reality we believe we are merely observing, which then in turn determines our perceptions, is known as reflexivity. […] Technology firms, especially those that are in the early stages of development, are particularly dependent on investors keeping faith with them, because they may need several infusions of capital before they become profitable. The classic example is Amazon, which nearly went bankrupt in the immediate aftermath of the bursting of the dotcom bubble. It was only when the retailer showed that it could turn a profit that credit markets were reassured.

And in the Daily Express, BBC correspondent and program presenter Edward Stourton chooses Scoop as one of his six favorite books.

Posted in Anniversaries, Catholicism, Decline and Fall, Edmund Campion, Evelyn Waugh, Letters, Newspapers, Robbery Under Law, Scoop | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Update: Patrick Balfour Copies

Bonhams has posted additional information regarding the sale of Patrick Balfour’s inscribed copies of several books by Evelyn Waugh. See previous post.:

• An author’s presentation copy of Waugh’s autobiography A Little Learning published in 1964. The book is accompanied by two postcards from the author acknowledging errors in the text that Balfour had identified. Estimate: £1,500-2,000.
• A first edition, large paper copy printed on handmade paper and specially bound of The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold, Waugh’s 1957 lightly fictionalized account of his experience of persecution mania caused by the chloral he took for his chronic insomnia. Estimate: £1,000-1,500.
• A first edition author’s presentation copy of Men at Arms, the first of the three novels that make up the Sword of Honor trilogy. The inscription reads, “I say, why not send the copy you bought to ‘a friend in the forces’ instead of exchanging it. There are too many houses which lack one.” This may be a witty reference to Waugh’s concerns that the mixed reviews for the novel might affect sales. Estimate: £800-1,200.

Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966) and Patrick Balfour (1904-1976) first met at Oxford in the early 1920s, and later in that decade were members of the social set known as The Bright Young Things, satirized in Waugh’s 1930 novel Vile Bodies. In the book, Balfour serves as a model for Lord Balcairn – the gossip columnist on the fictitious Daily Excess, whose column, written under the name Mr Chatterbox, is taken over by the central character, Adam Fenwick-Symes. In real life, Balfour – who was heir to the Barony of Kinross – wrote a gossip column for the Evening Standard, and was one of a number of aristocratic young men employed by mass circulation newspapers to recount the exploits of their friends and relations. Waugh often teasingly referred to Balfour as ‘Mr Gossip’.

The two men got to know each other well as war correspondents in Abyssinia (part of present day Ethiopia) during the Second Italian-Abyssinian war of 1935-36. The war provided much of the material for Scoop, Waugh’s satire of the newspaper industry, published in 1938.

Waugh also drew on aspects of Balfour’s life for the character of Lord Kilbannock in the Sword of Honor Trilogy set over the course of the Second World War. In the novels, Ian Kilbannock is a former journalist, working for the military as a press liaison officer. He plays a recurring, and increasingly significant role, in the development of the plot. Balfour himself, who became Lord Kinross on the death of his father in 1939, worked as Director of the Publicity Department in the British Embassy in Cairo in the latter stages of the war, having previously served in naval intelligence […]

Bonhams Head of Fine Books, Matthew Haley, said: “In his fiction, Waugh often drew on aspects of his friends and acquaintances, and the events of his own life. He was too great a writer, though, to offer straight pen portraits, and while the allusions to Patrick Balfour in Sword of Honor are clear, they are artfully woven into the narrative and suffused with the affection Waugh felt for an old and cherished friend.

The sale of these books will occur next Tuesday, 27 November at Bonhams’ Knightsbridge premises.  Details are available here.

Posted in Auctions, Evelyn Waugh, Men at Arms, Scoop, The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold, Vile Bodies | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Evelyn Waugh to Feature in Great Lives Series

BBC Radio 4 has announced a new episode in its “Great Lives” series that will feature a panel discussion of Evelyn Waugh. Here is the announcement:

Comedian Russell Kane nominates the novelist Evelyn Waugh, with help from literary critic Ann Pasternak Slater. Chaired by Matthew Parris. One of the greatest prose stylists of 20th century literature, not to mention one of the funniest, novelist Evelyn Waugh also has a reputation for being a snob, a bully, and a dyed in the wool reactionary. How much of this was a self-parodying pose, and how much the underlying truth? Russell and Ann are unabashed Waugh fans – Russell calls him “a ninja master of banter” – but Matthew Parris says he can’t stand him.

Ann Pasternak Slater is a member of the Evelyn Waugh Society, author of Evelyn Waugh (Writers and their Work) and editor of the Short Fiction volumes of the forthcoming Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh (volumes 5 and 6). Russell Kane is also well known to Waugh fans having won a Children-in-Need Mastermind Special with Waugh as his subject and presented a recent Radio 4 programme featuring Waugh in the Evil Genius series. See previous post. The Great Lives episode will be broadcast on Tuesday, 11 December 2018 at 16:30 London time and will be available on BBC iPlayer to hear on the internet thereafter.  Other broadcasts  in the current Great Lives series will include Dylan Thomas, Oscar Wilde, Laura Ingalls Wilder (Little House on the Prairie) and Gertrude Stein. Here’s a link to the season schedule.

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Bullying in the House?

In the 1960 BBC interview of Evelyn Waugh in the Face to Face series, presenter John Freeman posed a series of questions about Waugh’s career at Oxford. Among them are these relating to his children:

Q. Are any of your children old enough now to be at Oxford?

A. One’s gone down, one’s up there now.

Q. Are either of them at your own college? –well, one’s a girl, I believe?

A. The girl’s gone down, she couldn’t go to Hertford, no. The boy’s at the House. (CWEW, v. 19, A Little Learning, p. 558)

Neither of them feels it necessary to explain that Waugh’s answer refers to his son Auberon’s recent matriculation at Christ Church. For the record, Freeman’s college was Brasenose.

The Guardian recently reported something of a scandal at todays’s Christ Church. The present Dean, who has sought to reform some of the college’s arcane procedures and practices, is being “investigated” in a proceeding started by what is described as a “formal complaint […] filed against the Very Rev Martyn Percy with the college’s governing body. Few people know details of what is being alleged, or who is behind the move. Even Percy is largely in the dark, according to his friends. The complaint is believed to centre on issues of governance; no one is suggesting improper personal conduct. It will be heard by a tribunal, which could dismiss Percy. A date for a hearing is yet to be set.”

To provide some context, the article, by Harriet Sherwood, opens with this description of the college:

It is a quintessential institution of the establishment, producing 13 British prime ministers, 10 chancellors of the exchequer and 17 archbishops. Among its former students are King Edward VII, Albert Einstein, Lewis Carroll and WH Auden. One fictional alumnus, Lord Sebastian Flyte, came to personify its privileges in the pages of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited.

The Guardian, which seems to sympathize with the Dean in this case, questions whether he is being bullied by a cabal of insiders who want to stop his reforms.

Waugh’s placement of Sebastian at Christ Church was probably at one with his snobbish reference to his son’s college in the BBC interview. Sebastian’s primary models, Alastair Graham and Hugh Lygon, were at Brasenose and Pembroke, respectively. Waugh himself told John Freeman that his own first choice would have been New College where his father was a student.  But Christ Church was socially superior to any of those, in Waugh’s eyes at least. And it was the college of his friend Harold Acton, a contributor to the character of Anthony Blanche, who, in turn, recited The Waste Land from a Christ Church balcony.

Auberon in his 1991 autobiography Will This Do? (p. 137) explains that in June 1960 when his father was interviewed, he was unaware that Auberon would not be returning to the “House”, having failed his preliminary exams:

I had done no work and realized that I had no chance of passing. […] My father had generously said he would pay for the long vacation holiday on condition that I passed prelims. Since the results would not appear until the end of vacation, he had to accept my assurance that I would pass.



Posted in A Little Learning, Academia, Auberon Waugh, Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh, Newspapers, Oxford | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Travel Writers and Catholic Writers

In a long essay in The Smart Set (an online cultural magazine based in Philadelphia), Thomas Swick traces his career as a travel writer. In doing so, he also recounts the history of that literary genre in the 20th century. It flourished in the 20s and 30s. then died during and after the war only to pick up again in the 1970s.  Although he never mentions any of Waugh’s travel books as having particularly influenced him, Swick does mention Waugh in the context of the changes within the travel writng genre:

I had long been attracted to, which meant I was heavily influenced by, British writers, not just in the field of travel, where they excelled, but in the realm of succinct, subtle, dryly humorous prose. And this put me at odds with the American penchant for rambling, word-drunk, often overly earnest texts. The British tendency was to hold things back, while the American one – beginning long before the ’60s – was to let it all out. I much preferred the Latinate sentences of Evelyn Waugh to the overstuffed ones of Thomas – and now Tom – Wolfe. Of course, Fitzgerald had written beautifully measured lines, and Hemingway’s had had a revolutionary leanness, but our contemporary writers – from Mailer to Styron to Bellow to Irving – were all enamored of the sound of their own typing. In travel, Bruce Chatwin had a lapidary crispness that Paul Theroux, for all his Anglophilia, lacked. Instead of understatement, the Americans gave me gonzo.

After discussing his various attempts, mostly unsuccessful, to break into travel writing, Swick found his opportunity in the new wave of travel writing inspired by Paul Fussell’s Abroad and an issue of Granta devoted to travel writing as well as the success of Theroux and Chatwin:

Travel writers were no longer retreating from the scene in their books, letting the locals and their environs speak for themselves; they were the main characters in nonfictional picaresques. They took Evelyn Waugh’s first-person junkets to a higher, more plot-driven level. In Old Glory, published in 1981, the British writer Jonathan Raban sailed the length of the Mississippi River, capturing memorable people and moments but also telling of his personal journey – an adult, solitary, immigrant Huck Finn whose downriver progress was momentarily halted by an affair in St. Louis. Like Theroux, he was infusing and enriching the travel book with elements from the novel, not the least of which were narrative arc and engaging protagonist. Readers could eagerly follow the account of the author’s passage while, almost subliminally, learning about the lands he passed through.

Unlike Theroux, Raban brought a foreign eye to familiar places, which was also a feature of some of the new travel writing. In a world that was increasingly being visited by tourists, he went where the tourists lived, in this case, the small towns and prosaic cities along the Mississippi. And using his deft analytical skills – aided by a formidable knowledge of history and literature, geography and religion – he was able to make his readers see them anew. Interpreting a landscape, wresting out its meanings as opposed to simply describing its features, was another aspect of the new travel writing, one that was essential with the growing ubiquity of the camera.

Swick finally reached his goal of establishing himself as a travel writer and the results can be seen in his book The Joys of Travel: And Stories That Illuminate Them. Although not mentioned, there is a possible interesting connection between Waugh and Raban. Catherine Waugh, Evelyn’s mother, was from a family named Raban, a less common name even than Waugh. Jonathan Raban seems to be working on an autobiography of some sort, having recently published essays about his parents and childhood in recent LRB articles, but never seems to have explored this question of a relationship with those other novelist-travel writers, the Waughs.  Or perhaps he has and I missed it? Comments invited below.

The TLS in this week’s “NB” column includes a discussion by columnist J.C. of “Catholic scribes”. This was inspired, as are many of the discussions in his column, by the recent acquisition of a book from a bookstall during one of his “perambulations”. In this case it was

…Altar &Pew, edited by John Betjeman, a little anthology in the Pocket Poets series published by Vista Books in the 1950s […] (£1 from a Charing Cross Road barrow). The topic is “Church of England verses”, but you won’t find any more of those nowadays than you will Catholic novels. […]

What happened to all the Catholic writers? Once, they were legion. Graham Greene is probably the most reputable, part of the attraction being that he gloried in the disreputable. Evelyn Waugh converted to Catholicism in 1930, at the age of twenty-seven, explaining later that he had realized that life was “unintelligible and unendurable without God”. Muriel Spark, a protégé of both Greene and Waugh, left behind her Jewish family background and Edinburgh’s Calvinist air, to embrace the Roman faith in the mid-1950s. These three were converts; Anthony Burgess was a cradle Catholic. Hilaire Belloc converted from having lapsed, if that makes theological sense. […] In our age of brutalist profanity, who will guide us through death’s dark vale? David Lodge and Piers Paul Read are perhaps the closest we have to inheritors of the Catholic strain in literature.[…] It is hard to imagine a successful contemporary writer saying, as Waugh did, that he or she found life unintelligible without God. Much more trendy to say the opposite: that life is unintelligible with Him. Betjeman’s anthology ends with Philip Larkin, the youngest writer in the book (thirty-seven at the time of publication). The poem is “Church Going”:
Once I am sure there’s nothing going on
I step inside, letting the door thud shut.

Thanks to a reader for sending a link. The full article is behind a paywall.

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BBC Radio 4 to Rebroadcast Waugh Stories

BBC Radio 4 Extra will next week rebroadcast readings of three Evelyn Waugh short stories. Each broadcast will last 15 minutes:

“Cruise”: Tuesday, 20 November, 11am. This was first broadcast in 2007 and is read by Abigail Docherty. It was originally published in Harper’s Bazaar, London, February 1933. (“Sailing round the Mediterranean, a young lady writes about the upper-class antics on board ship.”)

“Portrait of a Young Man”/”The Sympathetic Passenger”: Wednesday, 21 November, 11am. This was first broadcast in 2003 and is read by Crawford Logan. These stories were originally published, respectively, in The Isis, 30 May 1923 and The Daily Mail, 4 May 1939. (“A showcase of the author’s wit and irony – two tales of an unwanted guest and an outspoken hitch-hiker.”)

“The Manager of the Kremlin”: Thursday, 22 November, 11am. This story was first broadcast in 2003 and is read by Crawford Logan. It was originally published in John Bull,  15 February 1930. (“A refugee from the Russian Revolution finds himself running a successful night club in Montmartre.”)

All the stories will be available to hear over the internet on BBC iPlayer after the scheduled broadcasts. All are available in Waugh’s Complete Stories.


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Books: Waugh and Trump and Amis

This week’s New York Review of Books has as its lead review a book by Michael Lewis called The Fifth Risk. This is is about governmental dysfunction in the present USA administration and is reviewed by Fintan O’Toole, who opens with this:

Writing about her friend the famously unpleasant Evelyn Waugh, Frances Donaldson reflected that

“the weakness in attributing any particular quality to Evelyn is that he could not allow anyone to dictate his attitude or virtues to him. Consequently, if he was accused of some quality usually regarded as contemptible, where other men would be aroused to shame or hypocrisy, he studied it, polished up his performance, and, treating it as both normal and admirable, made it his own…. Consequently, it was never any good looking straight at him to learn the truth about him.”

Donald Trump is not often compared to a great English novelist, and the word “studied” does not apply—he is all instinct. But his instincts lead him in precisely the same direction. He disorients us by wearing his most contemptible qualities as if they were crown jewels, by brandishing as trophies what others would conceal as shameful secrets. He uses his dirty linen as a cloth with which to polish up his performance.

There then follow several examples, none of which reminded me much of any bad behavior ever charged to Evelyn Waugh. Perhaps that’s not the point, however; and the rest of the review is behind a paywall.

The Boston Globe, meanwhile, has interviewed Ben Macintyre who is in the USA promoting his new book The Spy and the Traitor, about Cold War double agent Oleg Gordievski. When asked what books he is currently reading, Macintyre answered:

I always have three or four books on the go. It might be a sign of incipient madness. I’m reading Jonathan Coe’s new book “Middle England,” which is a hysterical, satirical look at Brexit. He also wrote “The Rotters’ Club,” which is good fun. I’m also plowing my way through Christopher Andrew’s magisterial “The Secret World,” a history of intelligence from classical times to now. He pretty much invented intelligence studies in Britain. I’ve been rereading quite a bit of Evelyn Waugh. I think a lot of the writers from his era haven’t survived. For example, I don’t think people read Kingsley Amis anymore. Waugh is the one who stands the test of the time. His novel “Scoop” never fails to make me think that what we journalists do is both noble and idiotic.

It is interesting that Macintyre considers Amis a writer “of Waugh’s era” since he was usually thought of as some one from the next or “post war” generation of “Angry Young Men” that followed those who flowered in Waugh’s “interwar” era of “Bright Young People”. But Macintyre’s discussion suggests that younger readers now look at the 2oth century literature in larger chunks of time.

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Oxford Trails and Roman Holidays

The Oxford Mail has reported the Ashmolean Museum’s exhibit No Offence: Exploring LGBTQ+ Histories and notes an adjunct:

…the exhibition traverses epochs and continents, deftly showing the numerous ways in which LGBTQ+ lives and loves have been expressed across cultures and throughout history. But here in Oxford we do not have to look elsewhere to appreciate LGBTQ+ history and heritage. Our great city has been a hub of queer life and culture for centuries [… Reporter Naomi Herring’s] new app-based city trail produced to coincide with the Ashmolean’s No Offence exhibition, foregrounds just some of the stories which makes Oxford one of the world’s most extraordinary queer localities.

Here’s a description of one of the sites identified on Naomi Herring’s trail:

[…] Evelyn Waugh’s classic novel Brideshead Revisited (1945) was founded on his undergraduate life at Hertford College during the early 1920s, but the full depth and breadth of LGBTQ+ experiences in the city that [Oscar] Wilde called ‘the capital of romance’ is only now being appreciated.

The Ashmolean’s exhibit continues through 2 December but the LGBTQ+ trail will presumably survive beyond the exhibit’s closure. I was unable to locate a link to Naomi’s “app-based trail”.

Oxford graduate, journalist and novelist James Delingpole has reported in his Spectator column on his recent trip to Rome. He found the museums (especially at the Vatican) underwhelming and overtiring but the food sublime (especially a spaghetti carbonara sampled in Testaccio). On the basis of the trip, he asked himself:

Is [a trip to Rome] worth it? Only so you can knock it off the list of items on your bucket list and then tell all your friends how thoroughly overrated it is. St Peter’s Basilica especially. What a blowsy, kitsch monstrosity that is. Some of my best friends are Catholics — the soundest of the sound — and I’ve occasionally toyed with the idea of doing an Evelyn Waugh and joining them. But I didn’t come away thinking that the papacy is a very good recruitment advert.

In his Thinly Disguised Autobiography (2003) Delingpole may have inadvertently contributed some sites on the Oxford Mail’s LGBTQ+ trail. The early Oxford chapters of the book are replete with allusions to Brideshead Revisited such as this:

..Rufus proposes a visit to George’s Wine Bar so that we can get very,very drunk. We order our usual Brandy Alexanders–creme de cacao, brandy and fresh cream. It’s what Anthony Blanche drinks with Charles Ryder…so it’s what we must drink too. (p. 17)

That is apparently the same “George bar” where Charles watched Anthony down four of the drinks (called “Alexandra cocktails” in Waugh’s novel, May 1945 edition, p. 43). The antihero of Delingpole’s novel, however, is at pains to disavow any homosexuality on his part despite constant ragging by his chums, so any associations of the novel with the trail might better be avoided.

Perhaps now that Delingpole is back home, he can finish the third volume of his “Coward in WWII” series entitled Coward in the Woods. It has been listed on Amazon since 2012 and has been duly assigned ISBNs, but its appearance is still mysteriously delayed.

Posted in Art, Photography & Sculpture, Brideshead Revisited, Events, Newspapers, Oxford | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Waugh Event in Milan

The British Council in Milan has announced a presentation relating to Evelyn Waugh later this week.  Here are the details:

On occasion of the 2018 edition of Bookcity, the British Council Milan, in collaboration with the Department of Modern Languages of Milan University, will host the editors of Evelyn Waugh’s complete works

On occasion of the Bookcity event Martin Stannard (University of Leicester), Sharon Ouditt (Nottingham Trent University), Simon James (University of Durham), Rebecca Moore (University of Leicester) and Roger Irwin (Oxford) will discuss several aspects of Waugh’s creative achievement and his reception in Italy with Giovanni Iamartino and Sara Sullam (University of Milan), and Ottavio Fatica, author of the latest translation of Brideshead Revisited (Bompiani 2009).

During the two weeks preceding the event, the British Council will host an exhibition of materials related to Waugh’s Italian fortune.

The presentation will take place on Saturday, 17 November, 17:00-19:00pm, at the British Council in Milan, via Manzoni 38. Booking is available here. There is no charge. Thanks to Waugh Society member Milena Borden for sending a link.

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2018 John H. Wilson Jr. Evelyn Waugh Undergraduate Essay Contest

Essays by undergraduates on the life and work of Evelyn Waugh are solicited for the 2018 John H. Wilson Jr. Evelyn Waugh Undergraduate Essay Contest. The contest is sponsored by Evelyn Waugh Studies, the journal of the Evelyn Waugh Society, whose editorial board will judge the submissions.

  • Subject: Any aspect of the life or work of Evelyn Waugh
  • Prize: $500
  • Limit: 5,000 words, approximately 20 pages
  • Submission Deadline: December 31, 2018

Undergraduates in any part of the world are eligible to enter. The winning essay will be published in the journal and the author will receive a prize of $500 (US).

Entries (in English, please) should be directed by email to (click to email).

Academics are encouraged to print the contest flier and post it in their departments.

“There will be a prize of half a crown for the longest essay, irrespective of any possible merit.” — Decline and Fall (1928)

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