Whether celebrating Hogarth or savaging Hollywood, mocking modern manners or defending traditional English architecture, inviting readers to 'come inside' the Catholic Church or expressing his contempt for modish Marxism and American-style religion, Evelyn Waugh's journalism is sparkling, sometimes vitriolic and always full of good sense. In this wonderful selection he explores his Oxford youth, his unexpected conversion, his literary enthusiasms (from P. G. Wodehouse to Graham Greene) and the perils of basing fictional characters on real people. Decades after their publication, these pieces still retain their capacity to delight, to surprise and to shock.
Evelyn Waugh was born in Hampstead in 1903, second son of Arthur Waugh, publisher and literary critic, and brother of Alec Waugh, the popular novelist. He was educated at Lancing and Hertford College, Oxford, where he read Modern History. In 1928 he published his first work, a life of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and his first novel, Decline and Fall, which was soon followed by Vile Bodies (1930), Black Mischief (1932), A Handful of Dust (1934) and Scoop (1938). Waugh travelled extensively and also wrote several travel books, as well as a biography of Edmund Campion and Ronald Knox. Other famous works include his Sword of Honour trilogy, and Brideshead Revisited (1945).