The Character of Evelyn Waugh. Catholicism Clashed with Atheism

Academic Paper, 2019

63 Pages, Grade: 5.0


Table of contents

Introduction... 2

Chapter One... 4

Evelyn Waugh – the Life of the Writer.. 4

1.1. Waugh and his literary features... 8

1.2. Waugh’s Literary Achievement... 10

1.3. Citical Reception of Waugh’s Works... 14

1.4. Summary – Waugh in a Flashback... 19

Chapter Two... 21

The Two Worlds – Catholicism vs. Atheism... 21

2.1 Atheism... 24

2.2 Catholicism... 35

2.3 Brief History of Catholicism... 39

2.4 The Roman Catholic Church and Other Catholic groups... 41

2.5 The demographics of contemporary Catholicism... 42

2.6 Catholicism Sacraments... 44

Chapter Three... 47

Waugh and His Conversion – Brideshead Revisited ... 47

3.1. The Critical Reaction to Waugh’s Conversion... 47

3.2. The Analysis of the Brideshead Revisited in view of Catholicism... 51

Conclusion... 57

References... 59


The aim of the hereby paper is to present the character of Evelyn Waugh. His career as a journalist was truncated as a direct result of his literary success with his first novel, Decline and Fall. Although his racy novels of the ‘Bright Young People’ in 1920s England made his reputation, he was a profoundly conservative writer who also had great success with more sombre works like Brideshead Revisited. Waugh’s attitudes towards the marriage, faith, Catholicism and the aristocracy were very complex, and they changed over the years. I have tried to demonstrate the shape of these changes by tracing references to these themes in Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited. Brideshead Revisited, as he stated, is the account of the intervention of God’s Grace in a family.

When Brideshead was first published in 1945 it dismayed some critics and readers. It might be shocking that in fact so little they realised what the novel is really about. They thought it an excuse for aristocratic snobbery, suspected it to be sycophantic praise of a small Catholic clique, and condemned it for pandering to an unhealthy taste for miracles. Fifteen years after writing the novel, Waugh declared that he sees many faults in the book and he thought it necessary to excuse himself by the fact that he wrote it seduced by a consequent post-war nostalgia , nevertheless, at the time he wrote the novel, however, he had no doubt he was writing something of utmost importance. Better than anyone Waugh knew that it deals with far more than an age which witnessed a regrettable decline in splendid living. Its major theme – the need to place one’s relationship with God at the very centre of one’s life – is something very different.

Moreover, the following paper intends to analyse the two approaches to the world of faith, namely – Catholicism and Atheism in order to find the reasons behind the common between 1890s and 1950s conversions to Catholicism, especially amongst the poets, artists and writers.

From the mid-nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth, numerous English-speaking intellectuals converted to Catholicism. Outspoken, intellectually gifted, and impressed by their own example, Catholic converts said that they would show up the fallacies of Protestants and religious skeptics, end the long schism in Christendom, and place Catholics once more at the center of Western intellectual life.

The paper is divided into three main chapters and several subchapters. Each chapter presents distinct aspects of the matter of faith (or its luck) and its reference to Evelyn Waugh himself.

Chapter One, “Mr. Waugh speaks only when he is spoken to”, provides general pieces of information on the author, his life and his career.

Chapter Two entitled The Two Worlds – Catholicism vs. Atheism, deals mainly with the basic ideas, information and assumptions regarding both Atheism and Catholicism.

Chapter Three, Waugh and His Idea of Conversion, presents Evelyn Waugh’s novel Brideshead Revisited. It thoroughly analysis what led the author to depicting the reality in such a bleak manner; though with the full bow towards the religion, God and Christian believes. Brideshead Revisited offers a powerful reflection on faith, on holiness, on modernity, and on the timeless pursuit of happiness, which might be better termed ‘peace of ones’ soul’.

In order to base this paper on the sufficient materials, the author gathered them both in written and digital form –books, magazine articles, as well as websites devoted to the achievement of Evelyn Waugh. One of the positions worth remarking is Martin Stannard’s – Evelyn Waugh, the Critical Heritage published by Routledge which contains a remarkable amount of written responses to Waugh’s works. As Stannard points out:

The reader will find several instances of displeasure at Waugh’s ostensible political and social attitudes in the postwar reviews. But he will, perhaps, be surprised that their number is not greater. In fact, the mythology of Waugh’s ogreish temperament was something largely constructed, with his help, through the popular press. Certainly, he was a rightwing Catholic apologist who sincerely lamented what he saw as the rape of European culture. The real Mr. Waugh, however, would never stand up before the microphone or camera. There was always a melodramatic disguise, a parodied prejudice, to defend his privacy. [1]

Chapter One

Evelyn Waugh – the Life of the Writer

Evelyn Arthur St. John Waugh was born in the London suburb of Hampstead in 1903, the son of Arthur Waugh, a prominent man of letters and one of the directors of the publishing firm of Chapman and Hall. Among Evelyn’s ancestors were clergymen, doctors, and lawyers; his great-great-grandfather was one of the best-known Nonconformist ministers of his time, while his great-grandfather was a clergyman in the Church of England. Arthur Waugh was a church-going Anglican, and Evelyn’s own early bent was religious. For a time he thought of becoming a parson. His father sent him to Lancing School, an institution with decided Anglican associations. According to The Oxford Companion To Twentieth-Century Literature In English:

He was educated at Lancing and at Hertford College, Oxford, where he read Modern History and cultivated an outrageous persona; through his friendship with H. Acton, he was drawn into a literary and artistic circle which included C. “Connolly”, A. Powell, H. Yorke (Henry “Green”), and the celebrated aesthete B. Howard (later portrayed as Ambrose Silk in Put Out More Flags and as Anthony Blanche in Bridesheod Revisited). [2]

Ironically, in such atmosphere, Waugh lost his faith. In June of 1921 he wrote in his diary: “In the last few weeks I have ceased to be a Christian. I have realized that for the last few terms I have been an atheist in all except the courage to admit it myself.” [3] Primary factors in this development were reading materials that encouraged disbelief and the influence of a particularly appealing teacher, later to become an Anglican bishop, who presented his pupils with challenging questions about Christ and religion and allowed the boys to present their own theories and speculations without helping them to resolve doubts and confusions: “We were encouraged to ‘think for ourselves’ and our thoughts in most cases turned to negations.”[4] Waugh’s atheism gave him no consolation; he recorded that during this period his diary was full of gloom and the consideration of suicide.

From Lancing School Waugh went to Hertford College, Oxford. There he studied, wrote for the college magazines, and, in general, greatly enjoyed the abundant social life. Waugh gives the impression that he did not take much interest in scholastic matters and that his years at Oxford were mainly concerned with living happily.

Interestingly, at Oxford, his wit, good looks, and resolute preference for the elite carried him into the company to which he aspired. There is a striking portrait of him at this time in Harold Acton’s Memoirs of an Aesthete: “I still see him as a prancing faun, thinly disguised by conventional apparel. His wide apart eyes, always ready to be startled under raised eyebrows, the curved sensual lips, the hyacinthine locks of hair, I had seen in marble and bronze at Naples […].” [5]

Other Oxford contemporaries have spoken of him in a harsher vein, calling him a ‘social climber’. There might be some truth about it while in the early days Waugh made good use of his friends who wrote gossip columns (Tom Driberg, Patrick Balfour) and reviews (Peter Quennell, Peter Fleming, Cyril Connolly, Douglas Woodruff). [6] However, it was common practice to try to direct one’s work towards reviewers likely to be sympathetic. Even Orwell used to practice it.

Considering some of the comments about his pre-college and college days, one notices that he read widely in his father’s well-stocked library and that his classical training was more potent and pervasive than he frequently cared to admit. For example, Waugh liked to pretend that he had dashed off his novels in a rather off-the-cuff fashion. He generally posed as a gentlemen dilettante who had ‘little learning’ and regarded his own writing casually. In fact much thought, care, and artistry went in the production of his fiction. Martin Stannard, an author of Evelyn Waugh: Critical Heritage quotes Waugh’s opinion regarding the brutal definition of the mechanics of contemporary literary success. He both made light of his talents and exploited the media. As he said in 1946:

I have never, until quite lately, enjoyed writing. I am lazy and it is intensely hard work. I wanted to be a man of the world and I took to writing as I might have taken to archaeology or diplomacy or any other profession as a means of coming to terms with the world. [7]

When it was determined that Waugh’s primary vocational interest was painting, he left Oxford without taking degree and entered an art school in London. But Waugh discovered that his ability in this area was limited so he quit the academy and for a time became a schoolmaster. A career in journalism followed his stint as a teacher and Waugh also began to write books.

In 1928 Waugh married Evelyn Gardner, the daughter of Lord Burghclere. The marriage lasted only a short time during which Evelyn was idyllically happy. While he was away for three weeks working on his second novel, Vile Bodies, his wife became involved with another man. Evelyn was crushed by his wife infidelity and at this point remarked to his brother Alec, “The trouble about the world today is that there’s not enough religion in it.”[8]

In 1930 Waugh became a Roman Catholic; without a doubt the disillusionment of his first marriage was a basic factor in his conversion. Five years previously, in atheistic despair, Waugh had attempted suicide. The world as he had experienced it and the break-up of his marriage convinced him, in his own words, that his existence “was unintelligible and unendurable without God.”[9]

From 1930 on, Waugh’s life was for many years devoted to travelling and writing, and a series of novels and travel books came from his pen. His literary reputation increased. In 1937 he married Laura Herbert, the youngest daughter of the Honorable Aubrey Herbert, M.P. Laura Herbert’s family was staunchly Roman Catholic, and this marital union together with his religion profession gave stability and full meaning to his life. John Howard Wilson, the author of Evelyn Waugh: A Literary Biography, 1924-1966 toys with an idea that Waugh was strangely not outgrown and that there is something juvenile about Waugh’s fiction: “the humor, the cynicism, the eagerness to puncture various balloons, the emphasis on innocence and betrayal.” [10] But he must have finally grow up while: “Thirty years of marriage and seven children are substantial accomplishments for anyone, but especially for a person like Waugh. He seldom enjoyed family life, and through force of will he seems to have suppressed homosexual tendencies and driven himself to become a husband and father.[11]

It is an interesting fact to note that although EvelynWaugh sought in many ways to distance himself from his father - he rejected his sentimentalism and, certainly as a young man, deplored his theatricality - he also recognized that in many ways they were alike, and there is no doubt that Arthur's taste for Victorian art influenced Evelyn. Arthur also encouraged his younger son's interest in draughtsmanship and, particularly, book illustration. Whilst Evelyn was still at school, Arthur used his influence at Chapman & Hall to obtain some commissions for him to design book jackets, and also agreed to Evelyn having lessons in calligraphy and sketching outside of school. Evelyn’s passion for illustration, printing and books as material objects in general continued throughout his student years at Oxford.[12] Waugh’s literary career continued although he did not reach wide popular audience appeal, particularly in the United States, until the publication of Brideshead Revisited in 1945 and The Loved One in 1948.

Another biographical fact is of special significance, and that is Waugh’s distinguished service in the British Army – especially with the Commandos, the Royal Horse Guards, and the British military Mission to Yugoslavia – during World War II. Not only did these experiences give Waugh the opportunity to fight in the defense of his homeland, but they also presented him with material that he was able to translate into several important novels about British military life. For Stephen Spender: “Evelyn Waugh and many of his characters belong to a generation old enough to have passed their childhoods before the First World War, though not old enough to have fought in it. They have memories of pre-war or islanded-from-war country childhoods where hunting and the nursery are the centres of a ritual of idyllic country life.” [13]

Waugh’s last years before his fatal heart attack on Easter Sunday, 1966, were characterized by increasing tendencies to reclusiveness and by poor health. His disillusionment with modern world was intense; but he never abandoned his pranks, for example he disconcerted an interviewer when he appeared for an arranged Paris Review interview at London Hyde Park Hotel in 1962 by donning pajamas, climbing into a bed, and smoking a cigar throughout the interrogation. [14] He continued to exercise his comic wit at every opportunity: “I used to have a rule when I reviewed books as a young man never to give an unfavorable notice to a book I hadn’t read. I find even this simple rule is flagrantly broken now” [15], and to take solace in spiritual faith.

According to Stannard: “Waugh’s public image was enigmatic and his artistic approach baffling.”[16] The best ‘image’ of Waugh was presented by Harvey Breit:

No matter how you look at him, Mr. Evelyn Waugh is a deceptive man: what meets the eye is at variance with what meets the ear. A remark he makes suggests cynicism, or perhaps a satiric humor, but Mr. Waugh’s face - bland, pink and cherubic - suggests only innocence. In fact, expression on Mr. Waugh’s face is at a minimum - a flicker of amusement, of naughtiness, an infinitesimal hint of wonder. In feature it’s a little like a boyish Winston Churchill’s. And Mr. Waugh’s bowler, cigar and dapper, plump figure extend the resemblance.[17]

1.1 Waugh and his literary features

‘Evelyn Waugh…,’ the ‘Sunday Express’ once remarked, ‘was quite simply exceedingly unpleasant’ (Graham Lord, 28 September 1975, 6). This view of his character is not uncommon, especially since the first appearance of sections from the ‘Diaries’ in the ‘Observer Magazine’ (1973). Christopher Sykes’s ‘official’ biography (1975) did little to rectify the impression. Despite his loyal attempt to stitch up a suit of virtue for his subject the bile still, apparently, spilled through the seams. Waugh’s enemies saw in the book what they had always suspected: he had been pompous, snobbish, sadistic; there was something of the Fascist and the philistine about him.

One of the salient and most distinguishing features of Waugh’s work is his abiding preoccupation with style. Generally critics agree that Waugh’s vocabulary proved exceptionally rich, and he was gifted with a special ability to choose the precise, absolutely correct word, and his economy in the use of language has been unchallenged. Fowler’s ModernEnglish Usage and the Oxford English Dictionary were constant companions. He once wrote a letter answering the query as how youthful authors could improve their style. His response is worth quoting because he followed this advice most diligently in his own career while he states that the most valuable advice he could give young writers of that days is to ‘Learn their Language’. That did not mean for example the scholarly knowledge of Latin or of Greek. They also should not worry about their own emotions or opinions. What was the most important, was to study the great writers and stylists particularly, of the past. One of the writers worth reading was Pushkin, whom Waugh advised to look into every day. Enlarge and enrich your vocabulary. Additionally he claimed that the use of the dictionary, for example, or especially full-sized Oxford if available, constantly noting the change of nuances in each word, was worth taking care of. Of not least importance was formal grammar studying with an effort to speak correctly and frequent the company of those who do. That was supposed to get the habit of grammatical construction so that those who did so could not make a mistake. Finally, he advised to keep Fowler’s Modern English Usage at ones’ elbow and own a copy. [18]

Waugh had little sympathy with novelists such as Virginia Woolf, D.H. Lawrence and the later James Joyce, who were delving ever-deeper into the mental states of their characters. Accordingly:

Waugh considered himself a craftsman, a cabinet-maker of fiction who belonged to no recognizable school of the avantgarde. Little sympathy was spared for the ‘conversation and biology’ of Huxley, the inchoate effusions of Lawrence, the didactic optimism of Wells or the linguistic experiments of Joyce and Gertrude Stein. All, he believed, suffered from subjectivity; all had failed to cut the umbilical cord between themselves and their work. His early literary heroes were Lewis Carroll, Firbank, T.S. Eliot, Hemingway, Henry Green and Ivy Compton-Burnett. Clarity, concision, the use of the ‘refrain’ (recurrent image) rather than the statement, a sense of fantasy and of the self-supporting reality of a work of art beyond and above the ‘issues’ involved—these were the tenets of his aesthetic faith […].[19]

In the 1942 edition of Work Suspended, the first-person narrator John Plant (who usually projects Waugh’s own views on art and literature) says: “The alternative, classical expedient is to take the whole man and reduce him to a manageable abstraction…. It is, anyway, in the classical way that I have striven to write.” [20]

The stylized and objective treatment of characters is evident throughout the early satirical novels. In Decline and Fall Waugh makes much of the fact that his hero, Paul Pennyfeather, is ordinary, even uninteresting. Perhaps, this is the reason why, Lida Vianu, the literary critic states that:

Evelyn Waugh promises us a lot and we end up with very little. No news from the point of view of literary technique. No appealing opinions on anything. Nothing but an easy-flowing, treacherous style, which makes him hold on. After the last page, memory relinquishes its grasp and everything sinks into oblivion. A novel as soon forgotten as it has been read. Can blank literature be the new trend, the latest fashion? Can the novel have become so aristocratic that its blood has thinned? [21]

Less bitter and more moderate opinion presents Marina MacKay who, in her Modernism and World War II points out that Waugh and Green’s shared milieu of 1920s Oxford has often been discussed, and this group of very young men – most famous among them Waugh, Green, Harold Acton, Brian Howard and Anthony Powell – tend be described in semi-mythic terms. What Waugh began in Brideshead Revisited was later pursued in Martin Green’s Children of the Sun and Humphrey Carpenter’s The Brideshead Generation, and this reverence for a group of virtual schoolboys, however talented, runs uncomfortably close to an uncritical nostalgia for the orgy of whimsy that the privileged world of the boys’ private club made possible; in many respects this group embodies interwar England’s intersections of economic and cultural privilege. [22] But still, Lidia Vianu opposes the commonly agreed opinions, claiming that:

What kind of a writer is Evelyn Waugh? A border-line novelist, I should say. He verges on being deep, perceptive, appealing. But he has not got it in him to be all that fully. He builds a plot. He strives to infuse life into his characters. He gives a certain credibility and coherence to the incidents he invents. His major flaw is that his tone is disabused. He does not know how to go about taking himself seriously. Consequently, we have doubts about him. Suspicion makes our attention waver, and we catch ourselves forgetting his book all too soon. He lacks the self-asserting poignancy of a strong, resourceful narrator. [23]

1.2 Waugh’s Literary Achievement

While working for some years, however unhappily as assistant schoolmaster in various posts he collected the material for Decline and Fall which appeared in 1928, and became his first and immensely successful novel, followed the publication of an essay on the Pre-Raphaelites.

Waugh’s first work of fiction, Decline and Fall, is a picaresque comic novel describing the adventures of an innocent young man, from the time when he is unjustly sent down from the Oxford college where he is reading for the Church, to the time a little more than a year later when he returns there disguised to resume his studies, having experienced in the meanwhile a world fantastic in its nature, totally challenging to all his assumptions.

According to Stannard: “In 1928 he had no intention of becoming a professional novelist and the ‘Diaries’ suggest that he had begun ‘Decline and Fall’ while writing ‘Rossetti’, as light relief from the ardors of biography.”[24] Despite this fact, the novel was well received.

In 1930 Waugh divorced his wife, traveled to Africa, and published his novel Vile Bodies, which earned critical acclaim. Waugh’s extensive travels are reflected in some of his novels, including Black Mischief, A Handful of Dust, and Scoop. Interestingly, Wilson claims that:

Marriage is important in most fiction, and Waugh’s is no exception. In Waugh's novels, marriage almost always leads to the betrayal of one spouse, usually the husband, by the other. A number of people have com- mented on this fact, and in order to explain it, most have referred to Waugh’s bitterness over the desertion of his first wife. Such explanations use fiction as evidence for biography, but in this case the connection is too simple. Marriage to She-Evelyn and estrangement were important, and bit- terness certainly influenced Vile Bodies (1930) and A Handful of Dust (1934), but the episode was too brief to cause Waugh to spend the rest of his life avenging himself at her expense. [25]

The attribution of failed marriages in Waugh’s fiction to the failed marriage in Waugh’s personal life also ignores the fact that he was happily married to Laura when he wrote Brideshead Revisited and the ‘war trilogy’, two works in which the heroes’ wives betray them. Waugh’s second marriage lasted almost thirty years, until his death in 1966. If there were a direct relationship between the first marriage and fiction, one might expect the second to promote better marriages in later fiction. No such change is evident, however, until Unconditional Surrender from 1961, Waugh’s last novel, when Guy Crouchback becomes happily married to a character like Laura.

Ann Pasternak Slater recalls, on 100th anniversary of Waugh’s birthday that there is an indissoluble link between Waugh's life and art. No writer quarried his own experiences as thoroughly and imaginatively. What is fascinating is the absurd triviality of some of these experiences, and the dazzling invention with which they are selected, refashioned and set in order. Waugh was unabashed about his own techniques. [26]

Despite this short digression, Waugh’s career developed – in 1936 he received the Hawthornden Prize for his biography of the Elizabethan Jesuit martyr, Edmund Campion. By the early 1940s, Waugh earned the reputation as one of the most respected satirists of his age.

Shortly after the start of World War II, Waugh enlisted in the Royal Marines. Waugh continued writing during and after the war, but his works grew increasingly somber and reflected his increasing sense of despair about the decay of the modern world. Waugh’s most famous and controversial work, Brideshead Revisited, which is about the decadence of a wealthy Catholic family during the 1920s, was published in 1945 and earned great critical acclaim. While on a voyage to Ceylon in 1954 he suffered a mental breakdown, which is detailed in his semi-autobiographical novel, The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold. Waugh died in 1966 following a sudden heart attack at the age of sixty three.

1.2.1 Major Works of Short Fiction

Waugh’s first collection of stories, Mr. Loveday’s Little Outing and Other Sad Stories, was published in 1936. The title story – a witty tale with elements of the grotesque – is about an elderly asylum inmate who is released by a social reformer. Throughout the story, Waugh uses satire and black humor to mock pretensions of social scientists and experimenters. Waugh’s satirical touch also is reflected throughout other stories in the volume. The stories include “Bella Fleace Gave a Party,” which is about an elderly aristocrat who throws an elaborate Christmas party that no one attends, and “Winner Takes All,” which deals with the misfortunes of a young man who is always overlooked due to favoritism shown to his elder brother.

On 10 July 1936, C.M.Bowra from ‘Spectator’ wrote about ‘ Mr Loveday’s Little Outing and Other Sad Stories’:

Mr. Waugh, like Mr. Maugham, succeeds at every kind of writing he attempts. Fresh from winning the Hawthornden Prize with a biography of a persecuted priest, he now publishes his first book of short stories. Most of them have appeared in magazines, and though the criminal lunatic in the first has had his name changed from Cruttwell to Loveday, (1) they do not seem to be much altered. But Mr. Waugh’s devoted readers do not all read magazines, and it is excellent to have these examples of his great talent collected. He manages the short story with the confident touch of an accomplished master, and it is interesting to see how he impresses his own personality and literary method on it.[27]

C.M.Bowra was not just anybody and not just any critic, Sir Cecil Maurice Bowra (1898–1971) was a celebrated Fellow and later Warden of Wadham College, Oxford, and Professor of Poetry, 1946–51. Although he was a Classics scholar, his interests stretched to cover contemporary literature and he was particularly keen to promote his coterie of undergraduates who included at one time Anthony Powell and John Betjeman.

It is also worth mentioning that Waugh became friends with him after publishing ‘Decline and Fall’ but he was always mildly resentful that ‘Maurice’ had not noticed his talent earlier. [28]

Waugh’s next volume of short stories, Work Suspended, and Other Stories Written Before the Second World War, was most likely published for financial rather than artistic reasons. The collection included seven stories that appeared in Mr. Loveday, “An Englishman’s Home,” as well as the title story – a fragment of an unfinished novel. Many of these stories reappeared again inTactical Exercise and in the 1982 collection Charles Ryder's Schooldays, and Other Stories. In 1998 all of Waugh’s thirty-nine stories were issued in one volume.

In addition to short stories, Waugh also penned three novellas,Decline and Fall: An Illustrated Novelette,Scott-King's Modern Europe, and Love Among the Ruins. Decline and Fall, the story of a young innocent dismissed from Oxford, contains a similar brand of satire used in his early stories. Scott-King's Modern Europe is a satirical fable about a middle-aged classics master who clings to forgotten values in the postwar world of Neutralia. Love Among the Ruins, which details disappointments in the life of Miles Plastic, is a harsh attack against state interference in people's personal lives in the postwar world.

By the 1960s Waugh himself was almost entirely at variance with the outside world. He loathed Britain’s centrally planned economy and its prevailing political culture, arguing that he refused to vote because it was presumptuous to advise the Queen on her Parliament. But there were changes afoot that were closer to his heart and which hurt him severely. It cannot be forgotten that Waugh identified rural England with the aristocracy, with the country estate and its privileged way of life, in a way that for example Woolf – whom he criticised also bitterly, struggled to avoid. [29] Infamously, the problem with Brideshead Revisited is that the narrator’s veneration of the feudal order is to be taken at face value; Waugh said as much when he retrospectively called the novel a ‘panegyric’ over the aristocracy’s ‘empty coffin’. [30]

In the last years of his life the Church began a process of modernisation which left his personal theological position looked upon as eccentric and his long reputation as amusing, provocative company had suffered a blow after receiving reports that age had made him what he most feared, a ‘bore’ [31]. He died in 1966, his standing as a writer partially eclipsed by his brother Alec, whose novel Island in the Sun had received a contemporary acclaim largely denied to the later work of Evelyn’s.


[1] Martin Stannard, Evelyn Waugh, the Critical Heritage. (Routledg.London, 1997), p. 1.

[2] Jenny Stringer (ed.), The Oxford Companion To Twentieth-Century Literature In English. (Oxford University Press, Oxford-New York, 1996), p. 703.

[3] Lorene Hanley Duquin, A Century of Catholic Converts. (Our Sunday Visitor Publishing, 2003, New York), p. 91.

[4] Ibid., p. 5.

[5] Lenin Imports Biographies online “Waugh”: (2010-02-16 last access)).

[6] Martin Stannard, Evelyn Waugh, the Critical Heritage. (Routledg.London, 1997), p. 2.

[7] Ibid., pp. 2-3.

[8] Lorene Hanley Duquin, A Century of Catholic Converts. (Our Sunday Visitor Publishing, 2003, New York), p. 121.

[9] Ibid.

[10] John Howard Wilson, Evelyn Waugh: A Literary Biography, 1924-1966. (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, Madison, NJ., 2001), p. 137.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Lynda Prescott,Evelyn Waugh, Morris, and the Ideal of Craftsmanship. inTheJournal of William Morris Studies'Summer & Winter2005, available online: (2010-02-17 last access).

[13] Stephen Spender, The Creative Element: A Study of Vision, Despair, and Orthodoxy among Some Modern Writers . (H. Hamilton, London, 1953), p. 159.

[14] Harvey Breit, The Writer Observed. (World Publishing, Cleveland, OH., 1956), p. 43.

[15] Julian Jebb, The Paris Review Interviews: Evelyn Waugh The Art of Fiction .

Issue 30, Summer-Fall 1963, p. 14.

[16] Martin Stannard, Evelyn Waugh, the Critical Heritage. (Routledg.London, 1997), p. 2.

[17] Harvey Breit, The Writer Observed. (World Publishing, Cleveland, OH, 1956), p. 43.

[18] The Milwaukee Journal - Jul 19, 1953, available online:,1454334 (2010-02-17 last access).

[19] Martin Stannard, Evelyn Waugh, the Critical Heritage. (Routledg.London, 1997), p. 4.

[20] Evelyn Waugh, Work Suspended. p. 12.

[21] Lidia Vianu, Desperado Literature, 1997: (2010-02-15 last access).

[22] Marina MacKay, Modernism and World War II. (Cambridge University Press, 2007), p. 120.

[23] Lidia Vianu, Desperado Literature, 1997: (2010-02-15 last access).

[24] Martin Stannard, Evelyn Waugh, the Critical Heritage. (Routledg.London, 1997), p. 13.

[25] John Howard Wilson, Evelyn Waugh: A Literary Biography, 1924-1966. (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, Madison, NJ., 2001), p. 39.

[26] Ann Pasternak Slater, The hapless hack. The Guardian, Saturday 25 October 2003, accessed online: (2010-07-09 last access).

[27] Martin Stannard, Evelyn Waugh, the Critical Heritage. (Routledg.London, 1997), p. 183.

[28] Ibid., p. 184.

[29] Marina MacKay, Modernism and World War II. (Cambridge University Press, 2007), p. 127.

[30] Evelyn Waugh, ‘Preface’, Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder, (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1959), p. 8.

[31] Patrick Allitt, Catholic Converts: British and American Intellectuals Turn to Rome . (Ithaca, NY. : Cornell University Press, 1997), p. 12.

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The Character of Evelyn Waugh. Catholicism Clashed with Atheism
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