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Episode 18: The Ordeal of Evelyn Waugh

The great prose stylist of the 20th century, monster, performer? Biographer and literary journalist Selina Hastings and writer and critic Alexander Waugh reveal the many reputations of Evelyn Waugh with the Slightly Foxed editors. From a pathological fear of boredom, hallucinations provoked by doses of bromide and cheques bouncing at the Ritz to his relationships conducted through letters, his genius for sharp satire and love of gossip, the conversation brings to light the darkness and humour of Waugh’s works. And we visit The Loved One’s Whispering Glades in this month’s reading from the magazine’s archives.

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Show Notes

Please find links to books, articles, and further reading listed below. The digits in brackets following each listing refer to the minute and second they are mentioned. (Episode duration: 45 minutes; 21 seconds)

Books Mentioned

We may be able to get hold of second-hand copies of the out-of-print titles listed below. Please get in touch with Anna in the Slightly Foxed office for more information.

Books by Evelyn Waugh

– The Sword of Honour trilogy: Men at Arms, Officers and Gentlemen and Unconditional Surrender (3:14)

Put out More Flags is out of print (3:53)

Decline and Fall (11:48)

Scoop (18:44)

A Handful of Dust (21:50)

Brideshead Revisited (22:58) 

The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold is out of print (27:09)

The Loved One (32:35)

Other Books

The Carey Novels by Ronald Welch, Slightly Foxed Cubs editions (1:46)

Evelyn Waugh: A Biography, Selina Hastings is out of print (2:40)

Fathers and Sons: The Autobiography of a Family, Alexander Waugh is out of print (2:47)

A Russian Journal, John Steinbeck with photographs by Robert Capa (40:37)

The Singapore Grip, J. G. Farrell (41:40)

Shakespeare’s Unorthodox Biography, Diana Price is out of print (42:27)

Zoo Station, David Downing is out of print (44:02) 

Related Slightly Foxed Articles

The Tortoise of Total War, Anthony Gardner on the Sword of Honour trilogy in Issue 36 (3:14)

Race of Ghosts, Patrick Denman Flanery on Put out More Flags in Issue 9 (3:53)

Portrait of the Artist in Middle Age, William Palmer on The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold in Issue 65 (27:09)

Waugh on the Warpath, Ranjit Bolt on The Loved One in Issue 46 (32:35)

Other Links & Information

– Sign up to the free Slightly Foxed email newsletter here to receive articles from the quarterly, extracts from books, latest releases, event invitations, news from behind the scenes at Foxed HQ and other bookish content several times a month.

The winner of the Slightly Foxed Best First Biography Prize 2019: Jonathan Phillips for The Life and Legend of the Sultan Saladin (1:23)

– Alexander Waugh is the general editor of The Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh (43 volumes planned), bringing together all of the extant writings and graphic art: novels, biographies, travel writing, short fiction, essays, articles, reportage, reviews, poems, juvenilia, drawings and designs.

Opening music: Preludio from Violin Partita No.3 in E Major by Bach
The Slightly Foxed Podcast is hosted by Philippa Lamb and produced by Podcastable

Comments & Reviews

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  1. Stephen Lloyd says:

    Many new insights into Waugh. Character assessments support John Freeman’s disappointment at the lack of rapport with Waugh in the Face to Face interview. Also, Waugh was introduced by Jessica Mitford’s book on the American Way of Death to Forest Lawn Cemetery and its landmarks and practices.

  2. Alan Smart says:

    Such a superb pod on Evelyn Waugh.

  3. Alix Nicoll says:

    WOW! I can’t tell you how much pleasure I derived from this podcast – I have adored Evelyn Waugh’s books for ever and to listen to such an interesting discussion about his life was super. I am sitting in my house in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico waiting out the Covid-19 pandemic and as a new member – my sister in law recommended SF to me – I am hooked! I shall return to my other home in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada at some point and hopefully will find my first hard copy of your quarterly – I am thrilled to have found you and am loving the diaries and everything about SF. Many thanks and please stay safe and well. Keep Calm & Carry On Washing Your Hands! Alix

  4. Chriss says:

    Excellent! I’m working my way backwards through your podcasts as well as through your very excellent archives. Listening to the podcast and reading through the back issues has provided a bit of sanity in these insane times. Keep up the good work!

  5. Sandra L. says:

    I am enjoying these podcasts so much! It’s like a book club, only better. It’s like getting together with friends and talking about my favorite thing. I am absolutely nuts about Brideshead Revisited. The BBC is making a series? I hope it goes better than the movie with Matthew Goode. Of course I love the ITV production and I own it on Blu-Ray. Thanks for a lively discussion!

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