"On the fiftieth anniversary of Evelyn Waugh's death, here is a completely fresh view of one of the most gifted--and fascinating--writers of our time Graham Greene hailed Evelyn Waugh as "the greatest novelist of my generation," and in recent years Waugh's reputation has only grown. Now, half a century after Waugh's death in 1966, Philip Eade has delivered a hugely entertaining biography that is both authoritative and full of new information, some of it sensational. Drawing on extensive unseen primary sources, Eade's book sheds new light on many of the key phases and themes of Waugh's life: his difficult relationship with his embarrassingly sentimental father; his formative homosexual affairs at Oxford; his unrequited love for various Bright Young Things; his disastrous first marriage; his momentous conversion to Roman Catholicism; his unconventional yet successful second marriage; his checkered wartime career; and his shattering nervous breakdown. Along the way, we come to understand not only Waugh's complex relationship with the aristocracy, but also the astonishing power of his wit, and the love, fear, and loathing that he variously inspired in others. Waugh was famously difficult, and Eade brilliantly captures the myriad facets of his character even as he casts new light on the novels that have dazzled generations of readers"--
I love reading about this extremely talented family, and reading any of their works. I have some 18 books in my collection. My favorite author of the family - after Evely himself-is probably "Bron", but Evelyn's brother Alec's biographical history of the Waugh family "Fathers and Sons" is excellent.
And I can recommend this life (admittedly a Re-Visit) as an ideal entry point to and new Waugh readers.
Waugh was a brilliant writer, but an insecure man owing to his father's well known preference for his older brother, his short stature, his chagrin at going to a second rate public school, and his failure to succeed academically at Oxford. His defense mechanisms were large quantities of alcohol, an acerbic wit. and then, later in life teh Catholic church.
I don't think this book covers much new ground in Waugh's life story, but for those who are unfamiliar with him, this is a well researched and written survey of his life.
I was curious to learn more about Evelyn Waugh’s life, which was why I put in for an Early Reviewers copy of “Evelyn Waugh: A Life Revisited”. I also read and very much liked Philip Eade’s earlier biography of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
I found this biography to be very detailed, and while I learned more about the author’s life and family, I felt it difficult to get through, with so many names and places I was not familiar with. This book, for me, was a slow read, but it did inspire me to want to watch “Brideshead” once more and perhaps to look for and read some more of Waugh’s work.
One thing that disappointed me was that Waugh’s family tree as well as photographs of him, his family, friends, and important places were all omitted, most likely because this was a review copy.
This book is recommended to those who are fans of Evelyn Waugh and his works. It is chock full of details, some titillating, some rather boring, but it is a carefully woven narrative of the life of one of the great English authors.
Waugh is a difficult character, with many flaws but a lot of charm. Eade stays out of the way and lets Waugh come through as is. A good introduction to the man, but look elsewhere for an an analysis of his books.