The Life of Evelyn Waugh: A Critical Biography
November 2001, Wiley-Blackwell
List of Illustrations.
List of Abbreviations.
1. Becoming Modern (1903-1930).
2. The Doom of Youth: Decline and Fall and Vile Bodies.
3. Political Decade - I (1930-1935).
4. Political Decade - II (1935-1939).
5. A Peoples War (1939-1945).
6. Brideshead Revisited.
7. A Peoples Peace (1945-50).
8. The Post of Honour is a Private Station (1948-1953).
9. Retrospective: Shaping a Life (1953-66).
* Counters bias found in Stannard's standard biography.
* Provides first truly critical literary biography of Waugh to date.
* Maps objectively with great sensitivity continuities in Waugh's spiritual and religious development.
"This calm, deliberate biography- which measures Waugh's life in
the context of his work, rather than making the work serve as an
excuse for discussing the life - should be included in every
academic collection for use of undergraduates through faculty"
"Patey's sympathetic and acute portrait of Waugh narrates
Waugh's narration of his own life, combining thorough research with
an exhaustive knowledge of Waugh's fiction and nonfiction and the
insight of a highly skilled literary critic. The result is the
finest biography by far of Evelyn Waugh to date, and a welcome
corrective of the regnant record. It is impossible to pay
sufficient tribute to the chapter Patey devotes to Brideshead
Revisited. It is, simply, the very best interpretation of the
novel of which I am aware." First Things
The Life of Evelyn Waugh is a biography with a
difference. In addition to being the life story of the English
writer who was so active from the late 1920s until his relatively
early death in April 1966 at age 62, it is also a critical
assessment of his novels and other literary works. Readers will be
well repaid for their perseverance." Languages and
"It is a tribute to the thoroughness of Patey's research and his
ready invocation of so many perspectives that the subject of his
biography should emerge as an even more fascinating and complex
figure than one had imagined. It is Waugh the writer, though, who
must remain of prime interest. In this regard, Patey is the perfect
critical guide." The Month
"Patey is a crisp and detailed writer who pays Waugh and the
reader the greatest tribute of all-he stays out of the way and gets
on with the story" Arthur Jones
"A remarkably insightful and readable account of Evelyn Waugh,
the writer and the man. While taking the full measure of Waugh's
comic genius, Douglas Patey brilliantly analyzes Waugh's
sacramental imagination about the world - the writer's conviction,
explored through a variety of fictional and journalistic forms,
that the extraordinary and transcendent lie just on the far side of
the ordinary. Indispensable for anyone who wants to get inside the
mind and soul of one of the great English authors of our time."
"This is surely the finest biography of Evelyn Waugh yet
written. It is unashamedly a literary biography and concentrates on
the published work, though never forgetting the personal context in
which these were written. Within its pages there is much valuable
information, some of it of a kind that brings out the essential
spirituality of Evelyn Waugh." Culture Wars
"Patey has provided the layman and the devotee alike with an indispensable guide to the writer and the vagaries of hs century. I suspect The Life of Evelyn Waugh will be a well-thumber reference tool for many years to come." Evelyn Waugh Newsletter and Studies