Selena Hastings Evelyn Waugh: A Biography.
Houghton Mifflin, 627 pages, $40

reviewed by Brooke Allen

Is another biography of Evelyn Waugh really necessary? Only three years have passed since Martin Stannard’s comprehensive, thousand-page life of Waugh was completed. Christopher Sykes’s version came out in 1975; a hefty edition of Waugh’s diaries was published a year later, horrifying large numbers of readers with the author’s cupidity, drunkenness, and malevolence; a kinder and gentler Waugh was revealed in the collected letters in 1980. Waugh himself wrote the first half of an autobiography, published in 1964 under the title A Little Learning. Since Waugh’s death in 1966 a good many of his friends and enemies have taken advantage of the ever-popular Waugh cult to write personal memoirs of the famous man.

Another biography of over six hundred pages, then, would...


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