Mad world : Evelyn Waugh and the secrets of Brideshead

by Byrne, Paula.

Format: Print Book 2010
Availability: Available at 3 Libraries 3 of 3 copies
Available (3)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Second Floor - Non-fiction PR6045.A97 Z618 2010
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Second Floor - Non-fiction
Call Number  PR6045.A97 Z618 2010
Upper St. Clair Township Library Non-fiction 823 WAUGH BIO/CRIT
Location  Upper St. Clair Township Library
Collection  Non-fiction
Call Number  823 WAUGH BIO/CRIT
Whitehall Public Library Nonfiction Collection NF 823.912 W357b
Location  Whitehall Public Library
Collection  Nonfiction Collection
Call Number  NF 823.912 W357b
A terrifically engaging and original biography of one of England's greatest novelists, Evelyn Waugh, and the glamorous, eccentric, debauched, and ultimately tragic family that provided him with the most significant friendships of his life and inspired his masterpiece, Brideshead Revisited. Fans of The Mitfords, D.J. Taylor's Bright Young People, and Alexander Waugh's Fathers and Sons, as well as Anglophiles in general, will find much to savor in Paula Byrne's wonderful Mad World.
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "As much as this is a biography of Evelyn Waugh, it is also the biography of the family that inspired his best-known novel, Brideshead Revisited. The product of a middle-class upbringing and a middling public school, Waugh's experience at Oxford was an awakening. There, he fell in with a sophisticated crowd that had at its center the glamorous Hugh Lygon, second son in an aristocratic Catholic family. Scandal-ridden as well, the eminent patriarch, Lord Beauchamp, was forced to leave the country because of homosexual activities. Waugh became close friends with several of Hugh's sisters, whose doings seemed to exemplify the spirit of the age. Their splendid house Madresfield Court called Mad for short offered the template for Brideshead, just as Hugh provided the model for Sebastian Flyte. Readers don't necessarily need to be conversant with Waugh's novels in order to enjoy this well-researched and absorbing account, but those who are will be fascinated by Byrne's exploration of how Waugh used elements from his own life to shape his work. Expect requests for Brideshead Revisited from patrons who get their hands on this.--Quinn, Mary Ellen Copyright 2010 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "The identity of the aristocratic family that inspired Brideshead Revisited has long been known to Waugh biographers: Byrne's (Perdita: The Literary, Theatrical, Scandalous Life of Mary Robinson) considerable contribution to literary history details Waugh's close relationship with Earl and Countess Beauchamp; their son, Hugh Lygon (the prototype for Sebastian Flyte); and the psychological circumstances through which Waugh transformed his experiences into a novel that mirrored his lifelong quest for an ideal family and the spiritual haven of Roman Catholicism. Waugh, the product of an obscure public school, suffered at Oxford until he was accepted as a comrade by a group of brilliant, gay former Etonians whose college years were characterized by decadence, drinking, and debauchery. Hugh Lygon, while intellectually mediocre, belonged to the circle by dint of his charm and lineage. The tragic history of Madresfield, from Earl Beauchamp's exile from England to Hugh's early death, are thinly disguised in Brideshead. Byrne obtained access to previously unseen documents-including revelation of the royal family's possible role in the earl's exile-and includes enough gossipy asides to intrigue readers. With its brisk narrative pace, this book will be valuable to admirers of Waugh's oeuvre and those interested in the behavior of English upper-class society between the wars. 16 pages of color photos. (Mar. 9) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Waugh, Evelyn, -- 1903-1966.
Waugh, Evelyn, -- 1903-1966. -- Brideshead revisited.
Authors, English -- 20th century -- Biography.
Publisher New York :Harper,2010
Edition 1st U.S. ed.
Language English
Description xi, 367 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 24 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages 350-354) and index.
ISBN 9780060881306 (hardcover)
0060881305 (hardcover)
Other Classic View