Evelyn Waugh

Evelyn St. John Waugh, (28 October 1903 10 April 1966) was an English writer, best known for such darkly humorous and satirical novels as Decline and Fall, Vile Bodies, Scoop, A Handful of Dust, and The Loved One, as well as for serious works, such as Brideshead Revisited and the Sword of Honour trilogy that clearly manifest his Catholic background. Many of Waugh's novels depict British aristocracy and high society, which he satirizes but to which he was also strongly attracted. In addition, he wrote short stories, three biographies, and the first volume of an unfinished autobiography. His travel literature and his extensive diaries and correspondence have also been published.

Waugh's works were very successful with the reading public and he was widely admired as a humorist and as a prose stylist, but as his social conservatism and religiosity became more overt, his works grew more controversial with critics. In his notes for an unpublished review of Brideshead Revisited, George Orwell declared that Waugh was "about as good a novelist as one can be while holding untenable opinions." Martin Amis found that the snobbery of Brideshead was "a failure of imagination, an artistic failure." On the other hand, American literary critic Edmund Wilson pronounced Waugh "the only first-rate comic genius that has appeared in English since Bernard Shaw." Time magazine, in a 1966 obituary, summarized his oeuvre by claiming that Waugh had "developed a wickedly hilarious yet fundamentally religious assault on a century that, in his opinion, had ripped up the nourishing taproot of tradition and let wither all the dear things of the world."
 

From www.wikipedia.com

Summary - Brideshead Revisited ]

[Return to CATHOLIC FICTION home page]