11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Things I didn't know about Evelyn Waugh,
This review is from: Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead (Hardcover)
Although I acknowledge he was a great writer, I felt Waugh was a character I didn't like very much after reading various published letters he had written to his friends such as Anne Flemming and also the biographies written after his death. Paula Byrne's account of his time with the members of the Lygon family however was especially jaw dropping because it reveals a more vulnerable side to his character. I could not put this book down. The goings on at Madresfield was especially interesting because I had lived in Malvern for years and had no idea that the gothic pile, up the road, was the scene of an enormous scandal many years ago. I almost started to like Waugh because Byrne wrote movingly about the sadness of the breakdown of his first marriage and his inability to win over women he loved deeply. I always thought he was an horrendous snob and unfortunately Byrne does not convince me that he wasn't . I would recommend this book highly - it reveals so much about the society which Waugh enjoyed being part of and also motivated him to write Brideshaead.