Waugh revisited: Literary Leicester commemorates prolific Brideshead Revisited novelist

Posted by pt91 at Nov 09, 2016 11:37 AM |
Fiftieth anniversary of towering literary figure’s death marked at University of Leicester festival on 18 November
  • Evelyn Waugh Day takes place on 18 November

The University of Leicester is commemorating fifty years since the death of one of the English language’s most revered novelists, Evelyn Waugh, with a day dedicated to his life and work, curated by experts preparing an unprecedented collection of his entire output.

On Friday 18 November academics working on the Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh, the largest undertaking of its kind, will join some of the country’s most celebrated biographers in examining the novels, letters, diaries and biographies produced by the prolific Brideshead Revisited author in three free public events as part of the University’s Literary Leicester festival from 16 to 19 November.

The Complete Works project is working with Oxford University Press to print all Waugh's extant writings and graphic art: novels, biographies, travel writing, short fiction, essays, articles, reportage, reviews, letters (about 85% of which are currently unpublished), diaries, poems, juvenilia, parerga, drawings and designs in 43 beautifully crafted volumes.

The editors have been given permission by the Evelyn Waugh Estate to quote freely from the writer's published and unpublished materials, a privilege never before available to Waugh scholars. No other edition of a British novelist has been undertaken on this scale.

Festival director, Dr Harry Whitehead, said: “Brideshead Revisited author Evelyn Waugh is among this country’s greatest novelists. To have some of the most famous biographers in the land coming to Leicester to discuss his life and works is absolutely unique and an amazing one-off experience not to be missed. Whether you have read his books, seen the famous television series, or never even heard of Waugh before, this is a chance to learn all about one of our greatest writers in a friendly environment, and completely free!”

The day begins with ‘Evelyn Waugh’s Vile Bodies: A Textual Editing Workshop’ from 3pm in the Diana, Princess of Wales Hall, Attenborough Arts Centre. Why do academics edit texts? What problems do they encounter? Have a go yourself at editing a section of Waugh’s Vile Bodies. Professor Martin Stannard, Principal Investigator for The Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh and Dr Barbara Cooke and Dr Sharon Ouditt, will be on hand to guide you. If you like puzzles, you’ll love this.

One of the country’s most celebrated biographers, Philip Eade, then discusses his bestselling new biography Evelyn Waugh: A Life Revisited from 6.30pm in the Peter Williams Lecture Theatre, Fielding Johnson Building South Wing, University of Leicester.

The day draws to a close with Evelyn Waugh: Letters, Diaries, Biographies from 8pm in the Peter Williams Lecture Theatre, Fielding Johnson Building South Wing. What role do letters and diaries play in biographical writing? A panel discussion with Alexander Waugh, acclaimed biographer and Evelyn’s grandson, and Alexander Masters, whose A Life Discarded examines 148 mystery diaries found abandoned in a skip. Masters’ Stuart: A Life Backwards won the Guardian First Book Award and the Hawthornden Prize.

The University of Leicester is hosting the ninth annual Literary Leicester festival at various venues across the city.

This year's highlights include talks from renowned authors Dame Jacqueline Wilson, creator of Tracy Beaker; and Fay Weldon – playwright and winner of the esteemed Writers' Guild award. English television writer and playwright, Sally Wainwright, who won the 2009 Writer of the Year Award, also unfurls tales of her experiences and gives a talk about her latest project at Phoenix Square.

There will also be poetry readings, film screenings, workshops and Q&As.

Literary Leicester 2016 runs from Wednesday 16 November to Saturday 19 November.

More information on Evelyn Waugh Day: http://www2.le.ac.uk/institution/literary-leicester/events/evelyn-waugh-day

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