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Never the twain

Mark Amory, 4 March 1982

Evelyn Waugh, Writer 
by Robert Murray Davis.
Pilgrim Books, 342 pp., $20.95, May 1981, 0 937664 00 6
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... In a letter to Cyril Connolly in 1948 Evelyn Waugh listed the ideas that had been in his mind when he was at work on The Loved One: immediately after ‘over-excitement with the scene at Forest Lawn’ came ‘The Anglo-American impasse. Never the twain shall meet.’ Not a new thought even thirty years ago, but, though we may run into one another occasionally in the corridors of the Humanity Research Center of the University of Texas (their territory), or share a train compartment on the way to Combe Florey (ours), it still holds good for those in the Waugh industry ...

Lord Fitzcricket

P.N. Furbank: The composer’s life, 21 May 1998

Lord Berners: The Last Eccentric 
by Mark Amory.
Chatto, 274 pp., £20, March 1998, 1 85619 234 2
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... and who became a fixture in his household, eventually inheriting Berners’s estate. ‘No one,’ Mark Amory writes, ‘could liberate Berners himself at this stage, but Heber Percy liberated the air around him.’ Long before this, though, the story had gone round that Berners was a great eccentric; and here we come to something very striking, which ...

Lady Rothermere’s Fan

Mary-Kay Wilmers, 7 November 1985

The Letters of Ann Fleming 
edited by Mark Amory.
Collins, 448 pp., £16.50, October 1985, 0 00 217059 0
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... weren’t straightforwardly upper-class. On the one hand, Boofy Arran; on the other, Lord Goodman. Mark Amory inadvertently sets the scene when he says in his foreword that he’d had to tidy up her spelling because ‘she never spotted the first “a” in Isaiah.’ ‘People born in all sorts of strata of society enjoyed the fruits of success,’ Cecil ...

This Charming Man

Frank Kermode, 24 February 1994

The Collected and Recollected Marc 
Fourth Estate, 51 pp., £25, November 1993, 1 85702 164 9Show More
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... happen to be good writers – witness the posthumous celebrations of Shelley and D.H. Lawrence. Mark Boxer was famous at Cambridge; he was even famous for the manner of his leaving it; and then, without serious intermission, he became and remained famous in London. And so, throughout his life, he was unwittingly acquiring eulogists. The blurb of this book ...

Pilgrim’s Progress

Michael Davie, 4 December 1980

The Letters of Evelyn Waugh 
edited by Mark Amory.
Weidenfeld, 664 pp., £14.95, September 1980, 0 297 77657 6
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... Arms near Oxford and drinking beer with the local farmers (not, surely, ‘famous’ as Mr Amory’s text reads on page 36). Several contemporary letters refer to and comment on this event. ‘There is practically no part of one that is not injured when a thing like this happens but naturally vanity is one of the things one is most generally conscious ...

Unmuscular Legs

E.S. Turner, 22 August 1996

The Dictionary of National Biography 1986-1990 
edited by C.S. Nicholls.
Oxford, 607 pp., £50, June 1996, 0 19 865212 7
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... all lives revised and the text sprinkled with ten thousand pictures. A DNB newsletter issued to mark this transition lists some of the odder occupations, or claims to distinction, recorded in earlier volumes. The distinctions include cowardice, sottishness, corpulence, self-identification with the deity and a failure to rise from the dead after an ...

Wounding Nonsenses

E.S. Turner, 6 February 1997

The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh 
edited by Charlotte Mosley.
Hodder, 531 pp., £25, October 1996, 0 340 63804 4
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... of Nancy Mitford’s letters, Love from Nancy. Others who have been at the nest eggs include Mark Amory, who edited The Letters of Evelyn Waugh, and Artemis Cooper, who gave us the Waugh-Cooper correspondence in Mr Wu and Mrs Stitch. So what is left? We are assured that 80 per cent of the Mitford letters and 40 per cent of Waugh’s in this volume ...

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