Evelyn Waugh

Evelyn Waugh


10/28/1903, London, England



Birth Name

Evelyn Arthur St John Waugh


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Evelyn Waugh was the son of a publisher and literary critic. He had an older brother, the writer Alec Waugh. At school, Waugh drank heavily and was believed to sleep with other young men. He spent a term at Heatherley's Art School, London, but took a job as…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Before his death, Waugh transferred the copyright of his works to a trust fund for his children which he called The Save the Children Fund.

    • His novel Brideshead Revisited (1945) was adapted for television in 1981 and made into a film in 2008.

    • During the Second World War, Waugh served in the Royal Marines and the Royal Horse Guards and saw active service in Dakar (West Africa), Libya, Crete, and Yugoslavia.

    • He had seven children, who included the writer and journalist Auberon Waugh.

    • Biographies of Waugh include those by Frances Donaldson (1967), Christopher Sykes (1975), Martin Stannard (1987 and 1994), Selina Hastings (1994) and Douglas Lane Patey (1998).

    • The American critic William F. Buckley, Jr. called Waugh "the greatest English novelist of the century".

    • Waugh's short novel The Loved One: An Anglo-American Tragedy (1948) is about the funeral business in Los Angeles.

    • His father Arthur Waugh and his brother Alec Waugh were also writers.

    • His work included biographies of St Edmund Campion, Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and Ronald Knox.

    • His The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold (1957), a novel about a man's descent into madness, was largely autobiographical.

    • His two wives were both grand-daughters of the 4th Earl of Carnarvon.

    • Waugh's first wife was also called Evelyn, so they were known to their friends as "He-Evelyn and She-Evelyn".

    • For a short time in his youth he was apprenticed to a cabinet-maker.

    • Waugh claimed in his autobiography that in 1925 he had tried to kill himself by swimming out to sea, but had swum back to the shore after being stung by a jellyfish.

    • When Waugh was asked if he had ever competed in any sport for his Oxford college, his answer was "I drank for Hertford."

  • Quotes