Waugh Book Group

Evening Waugh: Decline and Fall ***NEW DATE***

An illustration from Decline and Fall   The lovely people at Fingerprints have very kindly made their café available to us to start a new evening Waugh Book Group. Join us as we begin at the beginning with Waugh’s first novel, the public school farce Decline and Fall. You can read what other groups have said about the […]

The fictional Azanian empire

Book Group: Black Mischief

The following post is a collaboration between Barbara Cooke and Geoffrey Lewis This is a grotesquely comic story with numerous characters and a great deal of action. The sense of exhilaration keeps going to the end. Waugh’s skill lies in defining the characters so that they are not confused; the many contortions of the plot […]

First Edition Cover of Labels (1930) Picture from AbeBooks

Book Group: Labels

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 […]

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

Book Group: Helena

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 […]

Cecil Rhodes' tomb in Matobo National Park.

Book Group: A Tourist in Africa

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, […]

Nacy Miford's Pigeon Pie (1940)

Book Group: Pigeon Pie

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 […]

An early edition of Put Out More Flags

Book Group: 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, […]

Image of rare Scoop copy, courtesy M Sutcliffe

Book Group: Scoop

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 […]

Book Group: Unconditional Surrender

Book Group: Unconditional Surrender

In January, a small cohort of the Book Group met to discuss the last book in Waugh’s “Sword of Honour” trilogy: Unconditional Surrender, which appeared for the first time in 1961. It nearly did not appear at all; Waugh struggled with its writing, and at one point it looked as if Officers and Gentlemen (1955) […]

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