Waugh and Words


Bryony Lavery Takes Flyte

Lavery (left) and Cruden with readers Andrina Caroll and Beth Lilly

Inside a new production of Brideshead Revisited, York Theatre Royal There is a moment in Brideshead Revisited when Charles Ryder observes to Julia Flyte that he and she could be characters in a play: “It’s like the setting of a comedy,” I said. “Scene: a baroque fountain in a nobleman’s grounds. Act one, sunset; act […]

Book Group: Labels

First Edition Cover of Labels (1930) Picture from AbeBooks

Labels: A Mediterranean Journal   Mr Evelyn Waugh, the author of “Decline and Fall,” is indiscreet, impudent, and amusing in Labels (Duckworth, 8s. 6d.), his account of a Mediterranean Cruise. He chastises several hotels, all trains, some ships, at least one volcano, to say nothing of Paris and Naples, for their shortcomings. But his vivid […]

Book Group: Helena

A fragment of the True Cross, Vienna. Source: Wikipedia

Something rather exciting happened to Alexander Waugh and me over the summer. When I have time I’ll tell you all about it, but for now the highlight is this: when digging around in Dr Winifred Bogaard’s personal archive, we found five, never before heard cassette tapes (I include an image for the benefit of younger […]

Book Group: A Tourist in Africa

Cecil Rhodes' tomb in Matobo National Park.

Before last Saturday, I kept quiet about A Tourist in Africa’s reputation as Waugh’s ‘worst book’. Why prejudge the issue? The travelogue was specially requested by a member of the group – if he’d enjoyed it, why shouldn’t the rest of us? In the event, we did more than enjoy it. For many of us, […]

Evelyn Waugh Conference 2015

Waugh Conference delegates outside our beautiful College Court venue before the Gala Dinner!

Last month saw the international conference – Evelyn Waugh and His Circle: Reading and Editing the Complete Works finally come to fruition. It has been a common topic of conversation ever since I started working on the project in January 2014 but had always seemed strangely far off and abstract in the way big events […]

Book Group: Pigeon Pie

Nacy Miford's Pigeon Pie (1940)

The group was in fine form this Saturday as we met to discuss a ‘non-Waugh’ book for the first time. Original members have worked through nearly all Waugh’s fiction now, so we are looking for ways to branch out without losing the interest that binds us together – one way, we thought, was to read […]

Book Group: Put Out More Flags

An early edition of Put Out More Flags

The following is a guest post kindly supplied by Ben Doty. The upcoming conference Evelyn Waugh and His Circle has most of the regular staff at the blog tied up, so I offered to step in and report on April’s meeting of the book group. Put Out More Flags is a hidden gem among Waugh’s works, […]

Book Group: Scoop

Image of rare Scoop copy, courtesy M Sutcliffe

How can a book be so current and so dated at the same time? This was at the forefront of our minds as we met to discuss Waugh’s 1938 parody of Fleet Street and the world of foreign correspondents. The book is drawn from Waugh’s own experiences as a journalist in Abyssinia, but far more […]

Waugh and the Oliviers

Film poster for Tony Richardson's The Loved One (1965)

In light of the V&A recently making available around 200 previously unpublished letters between Laurence Olivier and his then wife Vivien Leigh I decided to do some searching of Waugh’s letters and diaries to see if he ever referred to the pair. Along with references to his attendance at the 1955 production of Titus Andronicus […]

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