Evelyn Waugh

Books by Evelyn Waugh

Evelyn Waugh (October 1903 –  April 1966) was an English writer of novels, biographies, and travel books. His most famous books include the satire Decline and Fall  and the Second World War trilogy Sword of Honour.

We interviewed biographer Selina Hastings to find out more about Waugh and the Bright Young Things. “At Oxford, for the first time Waugh had the freedom to do what he wanted, and unfortunately a lot of what he wanted to do was drink.”

Evelyn Waugh’s novels are an absolute must-read for anyone eager to explore the intricacies of the human condition within the backdrop of an elegant yet tumultuous world.

When He-Evelyn went away for weeks at a time, to work on Vile Bodies, she started an affair with another man. He was mortified and miserable, but it was more that his amour propre was wounded. I think he would have grown out of her quickly in any case.

Q: In Vile Bodies, Waugh’s novel satirising that set of people, the latter half is much darker, with Adam Fenwick-Symes ending up on a European battlefield. Many ascribe that bleak ending to the breakdown of Waugh’s marriage.

I think it was the worst thing that happened to him. And underneath his bullying, he was lacking in confidence, particularly sexual confidence with women. He was constantly falling hopelessly in love with women who wouldn’t give him the time of day. He was also prone to depression, and the ending of Vile Bodies reflects that very clearly.

The best books on Evelyn Waugh and the Bright Young Things recommended by Selina Hastings

Interviews where books by Evelyn Waugh were recommended

The Best Political Satire Books, recommended by P. J. O’Rourke

Satire is humour used for a moral purpose, explains American political satirist P.J. O’Rourke—though it doesn’t have to be particularly funny and can be quite dark. Here, he chooses five classic works of political satire, books that lay bare the shortcomings of not only communism and fascism but also the two-party system and the quest for a perfect society where everyone is happy.

The best books on Spies, Lies and Foreign Correspondents, recommended by Richard Beeston

From a biography of the Soviet Union’s most successful spy to an isolated German general in Tanzania in World War I, from a brilliant novel of World War II to what it was like in Moscow during Stalin’s show trials, British journalist Richard Beeston (1962-2013) recommends a range of books that resonated with him as he reported from troublespots around the globe.  

The best books on Schoolmasters in Fiction, recommended by David Hargreaves

Teachers play an important role in our educational and emotional development. But we have a complex relationship with them: one marked by firm boundaries and an unequal power dynamic. Here, novelist and former schoolmaster David Hargreaves discusses five classic works of fiction that portray teachers walking this line with varying degrees of success.

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