Download Mad World fb2

by Jonathan Keeble,Paula Byrne
Download Mad World fb2
  • Author:
    Jonathan Keeble,Paula Byrne
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    Isis Audio Books; Unabridged edition edition (May 1, 2010)
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In this engrossing biography, Paula Byrne takes an innovative approach to her subject, setting out to capture Waugh through those friendships that mattered most to him. Far from the snobbish misanthropist of popular caricature, she uncovers a man as loving and complex as the family that.

In this engrossing biography, Paula Byrne takes an innovative approach to her subject, setting out to capture Waugh through those friendships that mattered most to him. Far from the snobbish misanthropist of popular caricature, she uncovers a man as loving and complex as the family that inspired him - a family deeply traumatised when their father was revealed as a homosexual and forced to flee the country. This brilliantly original biography unlocks for the first time the extent to which Waugh's great novel encoded and transformed his own experiences.

Paula Byrne set out to write this book because she believed that Evelyn Waugh had been consistently misrepresented as a snob and a curmudgeonly misanthropist. I, for one, am very glad that she did. Paula Byrne eschews the "cradle to grave" approach, instead focussing on those key moments in Evelyn Waugh's life, and in particular those that informed his work. A few weeks before reading 'Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead', I read and thoroughly enjoyed 'Brideshead Revisited'.

Paula Byrne is the latest to explore the people and the story that inspired the book and she does so with acuity and panache. Her stated aim is to portray Waugh through his friendship with the Lygons, and in the process reveal some substantial new information about the high-society scandal that in 1931 electrified the country. The very grand Lord Beauchamp, Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire, Lord Steward of the Household, Lord President of the Council, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports, and father of seven children, was outed as a practising homosexual and forced into exile abroad by his crazy.

Paula Byrne's debut book was the study of Jane Austen, Jane Austen and the Theatre, which was published in. .

Paula Byrne's debut book was the study of Jane Austen, Jane Austen and the Theatre, which was published in 2002 by Hambledon and shortlisted for the Theatre Book Prize. An updated version, with a new chapter on stage and film adaptations of Austen, was announced for publication by HarperCollins in 2017, with the new title The Genius of Jane Austen: her love of theatre and why she is a hit in Hollywood. Her book Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead, another top ten bestseller, was published by HarperPress in the UK in August 2009 and HarperCollins New York in the USA in April 2010.

Other Worlds by Paula Byrne. Read On. Have You Read? If You Loved This, You Might Lik. ind Out More. Coda: ‘Laughter and the Love of Friends’. By the end of January he has been granted his three months’ leave, qualified only by a commitment to a little light part-time work for the Ministry of Information. He leaves his comfortable billet in the Hyde Park Hotel and his military uniform with it.

The Mad of Paula Byrne’s title refers to the nickname of Madresfield, the Lygon family seat. After Lord Beauchamp went into exile and Lady Beauchamp fled to the protection of her brother (the Duke of Westminster, who’d raised the scandal), the house was occupied only by the Lygon sisters and their brother Hugh. It was this state of affairs which enabled Waugh to move in on them. Though Waugh warned against viewing Brideshead Revisited as a glorified gossip sheet, this is precisely what Byrne does and it leads to errors of interpretation or emphasis.

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But it tackles precisely the same topic as Mulvagh's. We are promised new revelations as to Waugh's sexual friendships with young men at Oxford, particularly one of the putative models for Sebastian Flyte: Hugh Lygon. He exhibited the requisite childlike grace and beauty, took rooms with Waugh and drank himself to death in Flyte-like manner. Still, two gay relationships at Oxford are well documented, and adding Lygon on the say-so of notorious gossip A L Rowse may not be wise.

"Mad World" is full of fascinating anecdotes. vibrant, absorbing and stranger than fiction' 'Byrne's gift as a writer is her ability to combine scholarship with turbo-driven narrative power

Evelyn Waugh And The Secrets Of Brideshead Evelyn Waugh was already famous when Brideshead Revisited was published in 1945. Written at the height of the war, it was the story of a household, a family and a journey of religious faith - an elegy for a vanishing world and a testimony to a family he had fallen in love with a decade earlier. In this engrossing biography, Paula Byrne sets out to capture Waugh through the friendships and loves that mattered most to him. She uncovers a man who, far from the snobbish misanthropist of popular caricature, was as loving and complex as the family that inspired him.

"No writer before the 19th century ever wrote about the working classes other than as grotesques or pastoral decorations. Then when they were given the vote, certain writers started to suck up to them." Evelyn Waugh.

Evelyn Waugh was one of the greatest and funniest writers in the 20th century, beginning with the jokey "Vile Bodies" all the way to the Proust like elegy of the Sword of Honour Trilogy. While this book is interesting and provides insight into Waugh's creative process of people his books with people he knew, it probably is not the final word. "Mad World" is Madresfield Court, the home of the aristocratic Lygon family and friends of Waugh for several decades.

The author has done a great deal of admirable leg work in tracking down some of Waugh's inspiration for the celebrated Marchmain family in "Brideshead Revisited." There are some similarities between Lygons and their fictional counterparts. The father was hounded out of Britain under a cloud of scandal and the son indulged in various "Arcadian antics" at Oxford, while one of the sisters was a society beauty. While I had been aware of the Lygons, I was unaware of many of the particulars of their lives and the impact they had on the creation of not just the Marchmains, but other people and characters in other works of fiction by Waugh. Probably the best moment in the book for me was the assertion that Brendon Bracken, a stalwart associate of Churchill was the model of Rex Montram. Certain passages referring to Rex betting his political career on the outbreak of World War Two now make perfect sense.

Where I think the author misses the boat with Waugh is on two small, but significant points. These do not detract from the scholarship of the work as a whole, but I think are worth pointing out just the same. Really the source for a good portion of his art was his reaction to his wife's adultery and desertion of him. This is central and marks a abrupt shift in the light mood of books such as "Vile Bodies" and "Decline and Fall." From "A Handful of Dust" down to "Sword of Honour," most of Waugh's works feature this as a reoccurring plot device. Yet in this book, whose theme is how Waugh turns the events and acquaintances of his life into literature, this important theme is ignored. Waugh believed that traditional institutions like the British aristocracy represented a bulwark against social rot. Tearing down the great London townhouses to put up blocks of flats only provides Brenda Last with a venue for her affair with John Bever.

The other problem is that I wonder just how close Waugh was with the Lygons, really. The author makes a good point that Waugh wrote to at least two of the daughters rather jokey gossipy letters. Of course Waugh did this with everyone he wrote to. While he may have appropriated some details of the biographies of the Lygons, I do not think they are as central to Waugh's inner life as Paula Byrne makes out.

That said, this is an enjoyable meditation on the creative process and well worth reading for any true fan of Waugh's writings
Very good material for a work on spiritual theology. This book recounts the "Aesthete's Conversion" but I am still not quite sure whether or not it was a complete moral and religious conversion. Evelyn's own evalutation of "Brideshead Revisited" varied later he felt it too "sentimental". His magnum opus is a marvelous thing to rival Shakespeare in its ability to fascinate and mesmerise - especially in its GRANADA Television rendition. I think Waugh is like Shakespeare though with a rather more archetectural approach to the composition of character and narrative. The key thing I am referring to in the title of the review is Lord and Lady Beauchamp's somwhat opposing appreciations of the window in their chapel. The problem with Evelyn and Catholicism as representated in England is that it does come with a taint. Kierkegaard was also concerned that metaphore and story can hide as much as reveal theological truths.

I think in a way Evelyn Waugh has laid out the ordinary man's journey to and away from God. G K Chestertons remarks about Anglicans being more devoted to beauty than truth has a bitter truth to it. But Evelyn at least tried to address the aesthetic needs of those addressed by his "apology". He is doing aesthetically what Newman tried to do intellectually- present an "Apologia Pro Vita Sua".
Much I did not know in this book about the family and manor on which the novel was loosely based. I enjoyed the insights into how the upper class in post-WWI England drank and partied their way into tragic and irrelevant lives. At the end one has a feeling of waste as well. All that wealth, all that potential, and it goes to dress-up costume parties and the predictable end of alcoholism. Waugh added the religious aspect, though the tragedy is still there.

If you loved "Brideshead" and want to know a very good theory as to its origins, this is your book.

My only criticism is that it could have stood more rigorous editing. I think about a quarter could have been shaved off without missing it.

Fine illustrations and photos -- takes you back to that era.
Currently on an Evelyn Waugh reading bender, I find this truly interesting. Some of his books, now dated and dull, almost threw me off the bender, but this biography of Waugh living with the real people who influenced his writing of Brideshead Revisited (a favorite of mine) is riveting. This book also concentrates on his Oxford education years - the drinking binges, friends accumulated, the homosexual atmosphere, a type of wealthy living among those with titles in their teens.