Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead

Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead

by Paula Byrne


Members save with free shipping everyday! 
See details


A terrifically engaging and original biography of one of England’s greatest novelists, Evelyn Waugh, and the glamorous, eccentric, debauched, and ultimately tragic family that provided him with the most significant friendships of his life and inspired his masterpiece, Brideshead Revisited. Fans of The Mitfords, D.J. Taylor’s Bright Young People, and Alexander Waugh’s Fathers and Sons, as well as Anglophiles in general, will find much to savor in Paula Byrne’s wonderful Mad World.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060881313
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/08/2011
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 794,171
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Paula Byrne is the critically acclaimed author of five biographies, including Belle: The Slave Daughter and the Lord Chief Justice, The Real Jane Austen, and Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead. She lives in Oxford, England, with her husband, the academic and biographer Jonathan Bate.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments ix

Prologue 1

1 A Tale of Two Childhoods 5

2 Lancing versus Eton 22

3 Oxford: '... her secret none can utter' 44

4 The Scarlet Woman 66

5 In the Balance 77

6 The Lygon Heritage 88

7 Untoward Incidents 100

8 Bright Young Things 113

9 The Busting of Boom 129

10 Madresfield Visited 152

11 The Beauchamp Belles 161

12 Christmas at Mad 174

13 An Encounter in Rome 187

14 Up the Amazon 201

15 A Gothic Man 210

16 Fiasco in the Arctic 225

17 Ladies and Lapdogs 236

18 A Year of Departures 247

19 Three Weddings and a Funeral 258

20 Waugh's War 269

21 The Door to Brideshead 286

22 Brideshead Unlocked 299

Coda: 'Laughter and the Love of Friends' 333

Sources 350

List of Illustrations 355

Index 359

What People are Saying About This

Michael Dirda

“Altogether excellent and wickedly entertaining…Scandalous detail enlivens every page of this delicious biography…Over the years I’ve read all the major biographies of Evelyn Waugh, and Byrne’s is…the fastest moving and the most fun.”

Heller McAlpin

“An engaging book…remarkably thorough…Deftly interweaving biographical details and textual analysis, Byrne makes the connections between Waugh’s art, Roman Catholic faith, and life dance.”

Martin Rubin

“’Mad World’ is the perfect title for this sparkling book, a hybrid of family romance, incisive literary criticism, and deliciously hot gossip.”

Alexander Waugh

“A splendid new book…While displaying the research values of a scholar Byrne also manages to write with the panache and timing of a popular novelist.”

Customer Reviews