The son of a publisher and from a highly literary family, Evelyn Waugh was a prolific book reviewer, journalist, and novelist. He is known best for his satirical works (such as Decline and Fall (1928) and A Handful of Dust (1934), and the more weighty books, such as like The Sword of Honour trilogy (1952-1961, inspired by his wartime experiences) and his celebrated Brideshead Revisited (1945).

Many have been filmed for television and cinema, regularly bringing Waugh a new readership long after his death in 1966. Like his contemporary Graham Greene, Waugh became a Roman Catholic in adulthood (after the failure of his first marriage). It was Greene who wrote, in a letter to The Times soon after Waugh’s death, that he had been “the greatest novelist of my generation.”

His son Auberon, and grandson Alexander, have clearly inherited his great literary gifts and so they are also worth keeping an eye out for!

Evelyn Waugh in 1940, taken by © Carl Van Vechten (1880–1964)