Books: Fifty Years of Total Waugh

The greatest comic genius since Shaw is still in style

Evelyn Waugh fortified himself against his times with a moat of disdain, crenelated views and a castle keep of private devotions. He was raised in the middle-class London suburb of Golders Green, son of a modest publisher. At Oxford in the '20s he associated with the aesthetes, young men he later termed "mad, bad and dangerous to know." He graduated far from the top of his class, then taught school. Evelyn's experiences left him well stocked for his first novel, Decline and Fall (1928):...

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