Waugh and Words


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 […]

Book Group: Black Mischief

The fictional Azanian empire

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 […]

Alexander Waugh at the Leicester Literary and Philosophical Society

Auberon Waugh stands in front of Combe Florey House

On Monday 19th October Alexander Waugh, Evelyn’s grandson, gave a lecture on Combe Florey House (Evelyn’s last home) to the Leicester Literary and Philosophical Society. Alexander told us about Evelyn’s constant desire to change and improve his houses – as seen in the many alterations he made to Piers Court (where he lived from 1937-1956). […]

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 […]

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