With access to previously unpublished letters, and with the help of the Waugh family, Philip Eade has written what some are calling the definitive biography of Waugh. His friendships, marriages, attitude to his children, wit and self-loathing are all sympathetically covered. My conclusion: he really was a miserable bugger.
The much mythologised author of ‘Decline and Fall’, ‘A Handful of Dust’ and ‘Brideshead Revisited’ was hailed by Graham Greene as ‘the greatest novelist of my generation’, yet reckoned by Hilaire Belloc to have been possessed by the devil.
Evelyn Waugh’s literary reputation has continued to rise since Greene’s assessment in 1966. Fifty years after his death, Philip Eade draws on extensive unpublished sources to paint a fresh and compelling portrait of this endlessly fascinating man, telling the full story of his dramatic, colourful and frequently bizarre life.