Evelyn Waugh Case
The English author Evelyn Arthur St. John Waugh ranks as one of the outstanding satiric novelists of the 20th century. Waugh was born October 28, 1903 in London, England. He then died April 10, 1966 in Taunton, England (“Evelyn Arthur St John Waugh.” Almanac pg. 12). Evelyn grew up in a comfortable middle-class London suburb. He was the son of Arthur and Catherine Charlotte Raban Waugh. Arthur Waugh was a well-known literary critic and publisher. Evelyn said his childhood as being particularly happy although there are indications that he felt his older brother, Alec, received more love and attention from their parents. (Doyle. pg 33 – 35).
Evelyns environment at home considered of reading and writing since he was always surrounded by it. Therefore, it was a daily routine. When Evelyn was only seven he wrote a short story, “The Curse of the Horse Race,” which has been preserved and published in an adult collection of narratives. He and a group of his friends formed their own boys club, called The Pistol Troop, and even produced their own magazine, which was typed by his fathers secretary. (Doyle, pg. 103 – 104). Evelyn was only nine when this happened. He began writing at such a young age.
Evelyn Waugh captured in his novels the attitudes, foibles, and virtues of the British upper classes. From the romanticism of Brideshead Revisited, which took place in 1945, to the black comedy of The Loved One (1948), his fiction presents a world that is exaggerated and distorted but, nevertheless, familiar to his readers. His travel writing, in contrast, describes people, places, and ways of life that are unfamiliar to his audience. (Strahan pg. 115- 123).
Evelyn Waugh remained at home beyond the age that was typical for English boys of his class because of an appendicitis attack he suffered when he was eight. When he did begin boarding school, at age twelve, he had to enroll at Lancing rather than at Sherborne, where he had expected to follow his father and his older brother Alec.( Strahan pg 201- 205).
Evelyn Waugh published highly regarded travel books, short stories, essays, and literary criticism. But it is as a novelist that Waugh is most remembered. Such early novels as Decline and Fall, Vile Bodies, and Black Mischief established his literary reputation as a fine satirist, while such later works as Brideshead Revisited brought him popular acclaim from an international audience. He was “one of the most devastating and effective satirists in the history of English letters,” Paul A. Doyle of the Dictionary of Literary Biography declared. (“Evelyn Waugh” CA pg 67- 75).
Evelyn Waugh seems always to have realized that as a writer and probably a man he needed a lot of attention. “How badly I write when there is no audience to arrange my thoughts for,”