About

Discover more about Evelyn Waugh and the Complete Works project, including details of all 43 volumes and our eight project partners.

Read on for Professor Martin Stannard's introduction to the Complete Works project, or go straight to details of our project partners, published and forthcoming volumes and Evelyn Waugh himself.

Introduction to the Project

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Professor Martin Stannard at the 2015 conference.

Described by the Times Literary Supplement as being destined to "become one of the great monuments of twenty-first century literary scholarship", the Complete Works project is working with Oxford University Press to print all of 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travel writing, short fiction, essays, articles, reportage, reviews, letters (about 85% of which are currently unpublished), diaries, poems, juvenilia, parerga, drawings and designs in 43 beautifully crafted volumes. It's quite an undertaking - and a very exciting one.

The project revolutionises Waugh studies and will also influence twentieth-century literary and cultural studies more broadly. The expert editors of our new volumes will place Waugh’s works within their rich literary and historical context, enabling us to greatly expand our knowledge of the range and complexity of Waugh's thinking and artistic practice, linking this to the work of his contemporaries in Britain, America and Europe. No other edition of a British novelist has been undertaken on this scale.

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Alexander Waugh
Our editors have been given permission by the Evelyn Waugh Estate to quote freely from the writer's published and unpublished materials, a privilege never before available to Waugh scholars.

The Complete Works project was initiated by Alexander Waugh, Waugh's grandson, who curates the massive Evelyn Waugh Archive at his home in Somerset. Alexander is the edition's General Editor. The late Professor David Bradshaw and I then became involved, submitting a successful bid to the Arts and Humanities Research Council to support the work.

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The late Professor David Bradshaw
As I am Principal Investigator, the project is based at the University of Leicester. Cutting-edge digital humanities technology, driven by our Co - Investigator Dr Barbara Cooke, is at the heart of what we are doing, using this website as a research tool and global seminar space for our editors, Waugh students and enthusiasts alike. Anyone who has anything to add to Waugh's story is encouraged to use the Waugh Forum and comment on the project blog, Waugh and Words. We have also pulled together the best Waugh resources on the web, and digitised some new ones ourselves, in order to make the best range of research and study materials avialable in one place.

In my early years at Leicester I edited Evelyn Waugh: The Critical Heritage (1984), and wrote a two-volume biography of Waugh (1986, 1992). Since then I've worked on other authors - Ford Madox Ford and Muriel Spark in particular - but it is a great delight to return to Waugh and we hope that all those who become involved with this research, at whatever level, will find equal pleasure in his writing. No matter how well-read you are in Evelyn Waugh, you're bound to discover reams of new material in our scholarly edition.

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Dr. Barbara Cooke
Although work proper on the edition began in 2009, the groundwork was laid long before, and the project is in many ways the culmination of half a century of Waugh studies. In 1967 Paul. A. Doyle published the first Evelyn Waugh Newsletter, which year by year amassed details of all the primary and secondary Evelyn Waugh material its contributors could find. This project would not have been possible without the work of Doyle and his colleagues, particularly Robert Murray Davis and Donat Gallagher, who are now editors on our new edition of The Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh.

Martin Stannard
Professor of Modern English Literature
School of English

 

 

 

The Bodleian LibraryProject partners

The eight partners helping us bring the Complete Works alive.

 

Decline and FallVolumes

Summaries for all 43 volumes of the new edition.

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