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Evelyn Waugh : A Life Revisited
by Philip Eade


Overview -

Fifty years after Evelyn Waugh s death, here is a completely fresh view of one of the most gifted -- and fascinating -- writers of our time, the enigmatic author of Brideshead Revisited.

Graham Greene hailed Waugh as the greatest novelist of my generation, and in recent years his reputation has only grown.  Read more...


 
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    Evelyn Waugh (Paperback)
    Published: 2017-10-10
    Publisher: Picador USA
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More About Evelyn Waugh by Philip Eade
 
 
 
Overview

Fifty years after Evelyn Waugh s death, here is a completely fresh view of one of the most gifted -- and fascinating -- writers of our time, the enigmatic author of Brideshead Revisited.

Graham Greene hailed Waugh as the greatest novelist of my generation, and in recent years his reputation has only grown. Now Philip Eade has delivered an authoritative and hugely entertaining biography that is full of new material, much of it sensational.

Eade builds upon the existing Waugh lore with access to a remarkable array of unpublished sources provided by Waugh s grandson, including passionate love letters to Baby Jungman the Holy Grail of Waugh research - a revealing memoir by Waugh s first wife Evelyn Gardner ( Shevelyn ), and an equally significant autobiography by Waugh s commanding officer in World War II.

Eade s gripping narrative illuminates Waugh s strained relationship with his sentimental father and blatantly favoured elder brother; his love affairs with male classmates at Oxford and female bright young things thereafter; his disastrous first marriage and subsequent conversion to Roman Catholicism; his insane wartime bravery; his drug-induced madness; his singular approach to marriage and fatherhood; his complex relationship with the aristocracy; the astonishing power of his wit; and the love, fear, and loathing that he variously inspired in others.

One of Eade s aims is to re-examine some of the distortions and misconceptions that have come to surround this famously complex and much mythologized character . This might look like code for a plan to whitewash the overly blackwashed Waugh, comments veteran Waugh scholar Professor Donat Gallagher; but readers fixated on atrocities will not be disappointed . . . I have been researching and writing about Waugh since 1963 and Eade time and again surprised and delighted me.

Waugh was famously difficult and Eade brilliantly captures the myriad facets of his character even as he casts new light on the novels that have dazzled generations of readers.

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Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780805097603
  • ISBN-10: 0805097600
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Company
  • Publish Date: October 2016
  • Page Count: 432


Related Categories

Books > Biography & Autobiography > Literary

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-07-25
  • Reviewer: Staff

Noted British biographer Eade (Sylvia, Queen of the Headhunters) draws a well-crafted, slightly frothy portrait of the complex, difficult literary icon Evelyn Waugh (1903–1966). Undeterred by several previous accounts, Eade focuses on Waugh’s colorful personal life and exploits with the “smart set” of his time. The cameo appearance of dozens of glamorous figures throughout the book approaches literary name-dropping. Eade includes Harold Acton, Rebecca West, and many other English characters who range from the louche to the distinguished and are sometimes both at once. Enthusiastic tales of house parties and high-end adventures crowd out Waugh’s prolific work, some of which goes almost unmentioned. However, Eade does show how Waugh’s Oxford years inspired his most highly regarded novel, Brideshead Revisited, and how his trip to 1940s Hollywood led to his acid satire The Loved One. Despite the book’s crowded canvas, its narrative trajectory is straightforward. A bad first marriage preceded a long second union with seven children, fame, physical decline, and early death at 62. Waugh’s cruel streak, evident all his life, made him many enemies. With appreciation and empathy, Eade also points out Waugh’s many kindnesses, and his intense loyalty to the Catholic Church after converting. Eade’s treatment reveals a man of astonishing awareness of his gifts and failings, great sincerity, and wit. (Oct.)

 
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