Resuming London Library membership: Evelyn Waugh and Brideshead Revisited

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Archive Advent Calendar 18 December 2013

Waugh

Evelyn Waugh resumed his London Library membership in 1944 giving his occupation as Lt R.H.G. (Lieutenant Royal Horse Guards). Within a year Brideshead Revisted was published.

We join Helen O’Neill for today’s posting from the Library’s archive and open another small window onto the Library’s literary past with the joining form of the writer Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966).

This is the second of Evelyn Waugh’s joining forms to the Library and dates from 1944. Waugh’s Library membership was suspended in 1941 – a common occurrence in the archival membership records for men on active service during times of war.

The date of the form in which Waugh resumes his membership is richly revealing. In December 1943 Waugh broke his leg in parachute training and was given leave without pay – he resumed membership of the Library on January 18th 1944.  The following  year Brideshead Revisted was published in London by Chapman and Hall.  It was well received at home and an almost immediate best seller in America.  Lauded during his lifetime it was filmed to great acclaim after his death. The ITV eleven part adaptation of the novel in 1981 starred Jeremy Irons, Anthony Andrews, Diana Quick, John Giulgud and Laurence Olivier and was nominated for a raft of awards scooping up both BAFTA and Golden Globe accolades.

Join me tomorrow for another archival peek into the Library’s literary past.

© Helen O’Neill        Archive, Heritage and Development Librarian