Published: March 2018
Oxford held a special place in Evelyn Waugh's imagination. So formative were his Oxford years that the city never left him, appearing again and again in his novels in various forms. This book explores in rich visual detail the abiding importance of Oxford as both location and experience in his literary and visual works. Drawing on specially commissioned illustrations and previously unpublished photographic material, it provides a critically robust assessment of Waugh's engagement with Oxford over the course of his literary career.
Following a brief overview of Waugh's life and work, subsequent chapters look at the prose and graphic art Waugh produced as an undergraduate together with Oxford's portrayal in Brideshead Revisited and A Little Learning as well as broader conceptual concerns of religion, sexuality and idealised time. A specially commissioned, hand-drawn trail around Evelyn Waugh's Oxford guides the reader around the city Waugh knew and loved through locations such as the Botanic Garden, the Oxford Union and The Chequers.
A unique literary biography, this book brings to life Waugh's Oxford, exploring the lasting impression it made on one of the most accomplished literary craftsmen of the twentieth century.