Introduced by Christopher Sykes
Illustrated by Beryl Cook
Evelyn Waugh’s mordant satire on the funeral industry is illustrated with paintings by the great Beryl Cook OBE.
‘One of the funniest and most significant books of the century’
In 1947, Evelyn Waugh visited Hollywood to discuss a proposed film adaptation of Brideshead Revisited. The adaptation never came to be – Waugh considered the work’s eschatological undertones to be lost on the Americans – but instead he found something unexpected, a ‘mine of literary gold’ in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles.
This reissue features eight original paintings by Beryl Cook, including a double-page spread. Her interpretation of the novel is inspired – whether depicting the ‘gorgeous little casket’ of a deceased pet parrot or Mrs Joyboy’s ‘positively insulting clothes’. The introduction, drawn from Christopher Sykes’s biography of Waugh, discusses the inspiration behind The Loved One, and how it marked a return to darker satire for the author. The endpapers are printed with the name ‘Aimée’ in italic script on textured pale pink paper.
‘Thoroughly horrible and fiendishly entertaining’
Evelyn Arthur St John Waugh, the son of a publisher, was born in London in 1903. Educated at Lancing College and Hertford College, Oxford, Waugh worked briefly as a schoolmaster before turning to writing full time. His first book, a biography of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, was published in 1927, followed in 1928 by his first novel, Decline and Fall. His second novel, Vile Bodies (1930), was written shortly after the breakdown of his brief first marriage; he later remarried and had six children. His journalistic career took him from Abyssinia (at the time of the Italian invasion in 1935) to British East Africa and South America; his extensive travels formed the basis of further novels and travelogues, including A Handful of Dust (1934) and Scoop (1938). He served in the Royal Marines and Royal Horse Guards during the Second World War. Written during six months’ leave from battle, Brideshead Revisited was published in 1945 to enormous acclaim. He died in 1966.
Please sign in to your account to leave a review for The Loved One.