In his lifetime, Evelyn Waugh's personality and his attitude to the post-war world aroused almost as much controversy as his works did admiration. It is with Evelyn Waugh the man as she knew him that Frances Donaldson is principally concerned. His own autobiography covered the first 25 years of his life. The perceptive, affectionate and often vividly illuminating study starts in 1948 and describes their various meeting until his death in 1966. Frances Donaldson describes the writer as family man, friend, host and country neighbour. We also see him living through the alarming experience which he so brilliantly transposed into the ordeal of Gilbert pinfold, winning his libel action against Nancy Spain, visiting his children at school, shopping for antiques and writing letters and characteristically crisp and succinct postcards. The man who emerges from these pages will amaze and delight those who admired his work but did not know him personally.

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