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Search - List of Books by Evelyn Waugh

"One forgets words as one forgets names. One's vocabulary needs constant fertilizing or it will die." -- Evelyn Waugh
Evelyn Arthur St. John Waugh () (28 October 1903 — 10 April 1966) was an English writer, best known for such darkly humorous and satirical novels as Decline and Fall, Vile Bodies, Scoop, A Handful of Dust, and The Loved One, as well as for serious works, such as Brideshead Revisited and the Sword of Honour trilogy that clearly manifest his Catholic convictions. Many of Waugh's novels depict British aristocracy and high society, which he satirises but to which he was also strongly attracted. In addition, he wrote short stories, three biographies, and the first volume of an unfinished autobiography. His travel literature, extensive diaries and correspondence have also been published.

Waugh's works were very successful with the reading public and he was widely admired as a humorist and as a prose stylist, but as his social conservatism and religiosity became more overt, his works grew more controversial with critics. In his notes for an unpublished review of Brideshead Revisited, George Orwell declared that Waugh was "about as good a novelist as one can be while holding untenable opinions." Martin Amis found that the snobbery of Brideshead was "a failure of imagination, an artistic failure" while also remarking "Waugh wrote Brideshead with great speed, unfamiliar excitement, and a deep conviction of its excellence ... Lasting schlock, the really good bad book, cannot be written otherwise." On the other hand, American literary critic Edmund Wilson pronounced Waugh "the only first-rate comic genius that has appeared in English since Bernard Shaw." Time magazine, in a 1966 obituary, summarised his oeuvre by claiming that Waugh had "developed a wickedly hilarious yet fundamentally religious assault on a century that, in his opinion, had ripped up the nourishing taproot of tradition and let wither all the dear things of the world." Harold Bloom has listed the novels Vile Bodies, Scoop, A Handful of Dust, and Put Out More Flags as part of the Western Canon.

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