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Biography of Evelyn Waugh

Photo of Evelyn Waugh

Evelyn Waugh was a twentieth century novelist.

When and Where was he Born?

28th October 1903, at 11 Hillfield Road, Hampstead, London, England. Christened Evelyn Arthur Waugh.

Family Background:

Evelyn Waugh was the second child of Arthur Waugh, a man of letters and publisher and Prudent Catherine Raban.


Lancing. Hertford College, Oxford.

Timeline of Evelyn Waugh:

1910: Wugh goes to Heath Mount preparatory school.

1917: He attends Lancing College in Sussex.

1922: He goes up to Hertford College, Oxford in January to read History.

1924: He leaves Oxford without taking his degree.

1925: He becomes a teacher at Arnold House School in Wales. This is an unhappy time and he attempts suicide by swimming out to sea but turns back after being stung by a jellyfish. He moves on to a school at Aston Clinton in Buckinghamshire.

1927: He is sacked from Aston Clinton School. He meets Evelyn Gardner for the first time.

1928: He is briefly apprenticed to a cabinet-maker then works as a journalist before he published his first novel, “Decline and Fall”. He marries Evelyn Gardner on 27th June 1928 at St. Paul’s Church, Portman Square, London.

1929: He goes on a Mediterranean cruise.

1930: He divorces Evelyn Gardner. He travels through Africa and converts to Roman Catholicism which was a major watershed in his life and his writing.

1933: He travels through South America.

1935: Waugh goes to Abyssinia reporting for the Daily Mail newspaper.

1936: He is divorced form Evelyn.

1937: He marries his second wife Laura Herbert on 17th April. They move to Piers Court, Stinchcombe, Gloucestershire.

1938: His daughter Teresa is born.

1939: His son Auberon is born. He joins the armed forces.

1940: The birth and death of daughter Mary. He is commissioned in the Royal Marines and becomes a special assistant to the commando leader Robert Laycock.

1941: Evelyn Waugh shows bravery during the fighting in Crete evacuating troops whilst under air attack.

1944: His daughter Harriet is born. He serves in Yugoslavia with Randolph Churchill, the son of Winston Churchill liaising with Marshall Tito’s Partisans.

1945: He returns to London and is demobbed.

1946: His son James is born.

1947: He visits the USA.

1948: He lectures extensively in the USA.

1950: His son Septimus is born.

1954: Waugh has a nervous breakdown during a voyage to Ceylon.

1955: He visits Jamaica.

1956: The family moves to Combe Florey, Somerset.

1958: Waugh travels through Africa.

When and Where did he Die?

10th April 1966, Combe Florey, Taunton, Somerset, England of a heart attack after attending a Sunday church service.

Age at Death:


Written Works:

1932: “Black Mischief”.
1934: “A Handful of Dust.”
1935: “Biography of the Elizabethan Catholic martyr Edmund Campion.
1939: “Robbery Under Law” (Travel book).
1942: “Put Out More Flags”. “Work Suspended”.
1945: “Brideshead Revisited”.
1948: “The Loved One”.
1955: “Officers and Gentlemen”.
1957: “The Ordeal Of Gilbert Penfold”.
1961: “Unconditional Surrender”.
1963: “Basil Seal Rides Again”.
1964: “A Little Learning”. (Autobiography).
1976: “The Diaries of Evelyn Waugh”.


1. To Evelyn Gardner on 27th June 1928 at St. Paul’s Church, Portman Square, London. (Divorced 1936).
2. To Laura Herbert on 17th April 1937.

Site of Grave:

St. Peter and St. Paul’s Churchyard, Combe Florey, Somerset, England.

Places of Interest:


Combe Florey.