"One of the foremost writers of our time, Evelyn Waugh was also one of its most extraordinary eccentrics, with a life full of comedy and conflict. Selina Hastings, who was granted unrestricted access to his personal papers by Waugh's family, has uncovered a wealth of new material in her eight years of research for this volume. Letters, diaries, and family photographs shed new light on Waugh's childhood, his affairs at Oxford, his ill-fated first marriage and subsequent romantic adventures, his World War II military service, and his enduring but thorny friendships with such notable figures as Diana Cooper, Ann Fleming, and Nancy Mitford." "Perceptive, fascinating, by turns hilarious and tragic, Hastings' portrait gives us Waugh's glittering social life at Oxford, where he was a friend of Harold Acton, Cyril Connolly, Anthony Powell, and Alastair Graham, the inspiration for Sebastian Flyte in Brideshead Revisited. Waugh then followed a diverse career as schoolmaster, world traveler, war correspondent, and, as a novelist, one of the brightest lights of Britain's fashionable society. Here in intimate detail are the collapse of Waugh's first marriage and his conversion to the Roman Catholic Church, his second marriage and ambivalence about family life, and the social milieu satirized in such classics as Decline and Fall, Vile Bodies, and A Handful of Dust. Here is Evelyn Waugh in all his extremes, brought brilliantly to life in a thoroughly entertaining biography."--BOOK JACKET.