John Updike, RIP
Imagine, if you will...

Evelyn Waugh and His World

This is a collection of reminiscences of Waugh by various people who knew him, edited by David Pryce-Jones. I checked it out of the college library many months ago, read about half of it, got a bit bored with it, and put it aside for a while. But since I’m a staff member and am allowed to keep books for a ridiculous length of time, I hadn’t bothered to take it back. (I doubt that I was depriving anyone of it—this appeared to be the first time it had ever been checked out.) A few days ago I decided that the time had come to do so, but then I read the next unread memoir and changed my mind. It’s by Penelope Chetwode—how’s that for an English name?—and contains this bit:

...when I let [Evelyn] know that I was under instruction with the Dominicans in Oxford, he was naturally delighted (though he would have preferred the Jesuits as he thought, or pretended to think that all Dominicans were Communists)...

I expect it would be the other way around today.

The best stories in the book provide a fascinating window into Waugh’s life and the world he lived in, a totally foreign world to us middle-class Americans. Definitely recommended for Waugh fans.



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