The Brideshead Generation: Evelyn Waugh and His Friends

Humphrey Carpenter, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $27.95 (523p) ISBN 978-0-395-44142-8
Though numerous distinguished and semi-distinguished writers make an appearance here as friends or acquaintances of Waugh at university, and, in many cases, later, the Oxford set did not have the cohesion of the Bloomsbury (Cambridge) set, and this book is not so much a group portrait as a half-biography of Waugh. Graham Greene, Anthony Powell and John Betjeman get bit parts, while the likes of Cyril Connolly, Harold Acton and Nancy Mitford flit across the stage now and again. Not all that could be said about Waugh has been noted, however, and Carpenter (author of books on Tolkien, Auden and Pound) provides new and interesting detail about this talented and crusty writer who, staunchly Catholic and right-wing, lived out his pose as embattled crusader against the Age of the Common Man until he became virtually a parody of himself, and hastened his death with alcohol and drugs. Carpenter also splices his narrative with acute criticism of Waugh's work. Photos. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 01/01/1990
Paperback - 978-0-395-59769-9
Paperback - 550 pages - 978-0-571-24833-9
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