Why this Blog?

A place where I can lament the changing times; for eccentric comments on current affairs and for unfashionable views, expressed I hope, in cogent style; also occasional cris de coeur largely concerned, I regret to say, with myself.


I welcome your comments, so do please write. Please note however that all comments are moderated prior to publication. Whilst I fully appreciate that life can be frustrating, nevertheless, abuse, SMS language and illiteracy will not be tolerated!

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Characters in Books II

It was at my girlfriend's (ex-girlfriend's in her view) house that I finally found a copy of Evelyn Waugh's autobiography A little Learning; it was I think the first book that I read after arrival in England  in September 2011.

It is not a complete autobiography: published in 1964, it covers  Waugh's life only up to his first employment as an assistant master at a preparatory school in North Wales, and his subsequent half-hearted suicide attempt. Bored, with declining health and reportedly longing for death, Waugh died on Easter Sunday, 1966; he was only 62.

Waugh's first (female) infatuation (according to the book) was one Olivia Plunket Greene whom he described as "astringent."  His devotion remained unrequited.

At the time of his assistant-mastership, Waugh says that he had fallen into "mock-whimsical" style of letter-writing.

One instance of this he records - in a letter to Olivia as follows: "The fields are full of preposterous white things on legs which the farmers call 'lambs' and keep to amuse their sheep." Olivia, who says Waugh, "snapped like a lizard on any affectation, replied "I have rather a thing against lambs, I think they are common."

I have found a blog article that should give those unfamiliar with the rather riotous 1920s a flavour of the time: Cocktails with Elvira.  I so like this blog that I have added a permanent link to it here (see Links right of page).

My (ex) girlfriend used to say how she wished she had been at Oxford in the 1920s; me too

Until the next time

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