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Evelyn Waugh A Life Revisited by Philip Eade
  

Evelyn Waugh A Life Revisited

Biography / Autobiography   

RRP £30.00

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The 10th of April 2016 was the 50th anniversary of the death of Evelyn Waugh - hailed by Graham Greene as 'the greatest novelist of my generation', yet reckoned by Hilaire Belloc to have been possessed by the devil. Waugh's literary reputation has risen steadily ever since Greene's assessment in 1966. Philip Eade's biography is a new biography for a new generation. His book spans the whole of Waugh's life, presenting the most revealing and in some cases unknown events of his 63 years (1903-1966) in a stimulating and highly readable narrative.

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Synopsis

Evelyn Waugh A Life Revisited by Philip Eade

It looks at Waugh's life from his standpoint as a means of better understanding his famously complex character, as well as examining how he was seen by others. It also reviews the extent to which his various experiences and relationships informed his fiction, and describes his life in the broader context of early to mid 20th-century social history. Eade offers a more contemporary view than previous biographies, explaining why Waugh's work continues to grow in popularity. It takes account of the most recent Waugh scholarship and makes use of extensive unseen primary sources that cast new light on many of the key phases and themes of Waugh's life: his difficult relationship with his embarrassingly sentimental father and favoured elder brother, and the burning ambition they inadvertently provoked in him; his love affair with Alastair Graham at Oxford; his disastrous first marriage to Evelyn Gardner and its complicated annulment; his momentous conversion to Roman Catholicism; his complex interest in the aristocracy, and what the aristocrats made of him; his chequered wartime career and fateful enmity with Lord Lovat; his nervous breakdown; his strangely successful marriage to Laura Herbert; his unconventional attitude to his six children; his sharp tongue; his devastating wit; his egomania; and the love, fear and loathing that he variously inspired.

Reviews

Spurred by the milestone of fifty years since Waugh's death, encouraged by the subject's grandson, Alexander Waugh, and some new material, Eade has launched into this confounding, crowded, complicated life with brio ... [S]ympathetic, well-researched ... Evelyn Waugh: A Life Revisited will whet the appetite of any Wavian -- Mark McGinness * SYDNEY MORNING HERALD * For all the value of the newly available sources and the good use to which Mr. Eade has put them, in the end it is his biographical skills and crisp way with words and phrase that make this such a valuable tool for understanding the perplexing figure of Evelyn Waugh -- Martin Rubin * WASHINGTON TIMES * This biography, drawing on 80 previously unpublished love letters written by Waugh to Bright Young Thing Teresa 'Baby
Jungman, reveals a softer side to the author of Brideshead Revisited and explores the impact of his complex love life on his novels

* THE LADY Christmas Book Guide * Eade's thoughtful and thorough re-examination will not affect Waugh's status as a novelist, but it may well raise his reputation as a man * NEW STATESMAN * Eade's biography is crisp, diligent and sympathetic; his fresh material adds texture to this oft-told story -- James Fergusson * COUNTRY LIFE Book of the Week * Fifty years after Evelyn Waugh's death from a heart attack, aged 62, Philip Eade's challenging biography draws on 80 previously unpublished love letters, written by Waugh to the beautiful Teresa 'Baby
Jungman, one of the wildest of the Bright Young Things with whom he was obsessed in the 1930s. It reveals a softer side to his personality, different from the brilliant, acerbic wit that previous biographers have focused on

... A fascinating read -- Rebecca Wallersteiner * THE LADY * Vastly entertaining ... a Perrier-Jouet book, frothy and fun -- Laura Freeman * STANDPOINT * The chief delight of this biography is the way it foregrounds Waugh's own voice ... Above all, Eade sends readers back to the books. You'll want to have at least the short stories, Brideshead, A Handful of Dust and the Sword of Honour trilogy to hand after reading this ... Eade shows just how hard-won his effortless brilliance really was -- Suzi Feay * FINANCIAL TIMES * Peppered with humour ... Eade's fine biography does a very good job of pinning down the particular puckish charisma that made Waugh so popular -- Violet Hudson * TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT * A splendid treat. Eade's exploration of the most significant episodes in the life of this fearless, deeply melancholic comedian is a most worthwhile addition to the bowing shelf of Waughiana -- Christopher Hirst * iNEWS * Philip Eade has written a brisk, lively, and wonderfully entertaining account of the life of a strange, tormented, unique creature. Through page after page one finds oneself laughing aloud yet again at stories that have been told and retold many times. While previous biographers have been respectful (Martin Stannard) or compassionate (Selina Hastings), Eade seems genuinely to like his subject, and takes Waugh largely as he presented himself to the world. In his preface he writes that his intention is not to offer us a reassessment of Waugh the writer, but 'to paint a fresh portrait of the man by revisiting key episodes throughout his life and focusing on his most meaningful relationships. In this admirably modest aim he has happily succeeded -- John Banville * NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS * A gloriously entertaining indulgence. There isn't a single dull page in the whole book, and it could easily be twice as long without overstaying its welcome -- Eilis O'Hanlon * IRISH INDEPENDENT * Philip Eade makes the case that now is the time to revisit Waugh and see if some of the old charges of cynicism, snobbery and emotional cruelty really hold true. The result is a bright, breezy and sympathetic portrait that stops just the right side of sentimental -- Kathryn Hughes * MAIL ON SUNDAY * Evelyn Waugh: A Life Revisited represents a sort of tipping point: Eade's even-handedness gently but firmly nudges Waugh's work centre stage again ... Eade is excellent on tracing the sources of Waugh's delights and horrors, from his life to his work and back again: the failures, the successes, the disappointments, the endless grist to the authorial mill -- Ian Sansom * LITERARY REVIEW * Eade's new biography draws on unpublished letters, diaries and memoirs to explore the eccentric larger-than-life story of one of the most acclaimed novelists of the 20th century. Will send readers back to the novels in droves * FINANCIAL TIMES
Books of the Year * [I]t is the force of Waugh's energy - creative, sexual and social - that crackles through the pages of Philip Eade's meticulous and wildly entertaining biography ... Eade supplies an astonishing wealth of detail ... and is sympathetic to Waugh's many failings without being sycophantic -- Martin Townsend * DAILY EXPRESS * Anyone with the slightest interest in Evelyn Waugh - and who has not been intrigued by his steady return to favour? - should buy, and keep, Philip Eade's Evelyn Waugh: A Life Revisited. Why? Because it is packed with brand new, fascinating information about Waugh, his family, his friends and lovers. As well, it 'rebalances
a number of entrenched, skewed perceptions of man and soldier. And it is irresistibly readable

-- Donat Gallagher, editor of THE ESSAYS, ARTICLES AND REVIEWS OF EVELYN WAUGH For even more laughs, Philip Eade's Evelyn Waugh: A Life Revisited demonstrates that Waugh's life, already done by divers hands, really is worth another visit -- John Banville * GUARDIAN
Best Books of 2016 * Essential ... Eade's pacey new biography delivers the raw material of Waugh's life ... treat the Waugh aficionado in your life * SUNDAY TIMES Books of the Year * Brisk and entertaining ... intelligent and illuminating ... the best single-volume life of the author available. To read A Life Revisited is to experience a reckoning with a man whose life, like his work, is both a solace and a stimulus -- Matthew Adams * IRISH TIMES * Eade isn't a standard literary biographer; he is, by instinct and preference, an entertainer ... He is an assiduous researcher with a considerable narrative gift. He also, crucially, likes his subject. Waugh never much cared what anyone thought of him, but Eade does, and time and again he finds justification for what previous biographers have considered questionable behaviour. He also has a nice, wry turn of phrase ... this is an exemplary piece of work -- Marcus Berkmann * DAILY MAIL Book of the Week * If you like your Waugh fast, furious and funny, there is much to enjoy in Philip Eade's sparkling Evelyn Waugh: A Life Revisited ... Waugh's letters are a joy to read, and Eade's coup is his access to a hitherto unpublished cache of them -- Paula Byrne * THE TIMES *


About the Author

Philip Eade's two previous books (SYLVIA and YOUNG PRINCE PHILIP) have proved his credentials as one of our best biographers and chroniclers of 20th century upper-class social history. He has worked as a criminal barrister, English teacher, and journalist. His first book, Sylvia Queen of the Headhunters, was a runner-up for the Biographers' Club Prize; his second, Prince Philip, became a Sunday Times bestseller.

He lives in London.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st July 2016

Author

Philip Eade

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Author's Website

philipeade.com/

Publisher

Weidenfeld & Nicolson an imprint of Orion Publishing Co

Format

Hardback
432 pages

Categories

Biography: literary

ISBN

9780297869207

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