The Letters of Evelyn Waugh and Diana Cooper

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9780395562659: The Letters of Evelyn Waugh and Diana Cooper

Large 8vo. (2), 344 pp, acknowledgments, introduciton, Part I. 1932-39; Part II. 1940-49; Part III. 1950-59; Part IV. 1960-66; bibliography, index. First Edition, 1992. Brown hald-cloth with light-brown paper-covered boards, and gilt lettering to spine, and facsimile letters on endpapers. "Waugh was not only one of the foremost novelists of his generation, he was also of the last great practitioners of the art of letter writing. Diana Olivia Winifred Maud Cooper, Viscountess Norwich (née Lady Diana Manners; 1892-1986), was a famously glamorous social figure in London and Paris. As a young woman, she moved in a celebrated group of intellectuals known as the Coterie, most of whom were killed in the First World War. She married one of the few survivors, Duff Cooper, later British Ambassador to France. After his death, she wrote three volumes of memoirs which reveal much about early 20th-century upper-class life. The fortuitous recovery of the correspondence is a boon as the story behind the disappearance of the letters passes into the Waugh legend. Waugh's platonic alliance with Lady Diana deepened into one of the most important and enduring friendships of his life, and he immortalized her as Mrs. Stitch in the nove. Scoop."

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Lifetime of letters largely from Waugh to Lady Diana, a famous beauty ten years his senior, whom he loved but never bedded. Her letters to him have mostly vanished. These are not great letters, nor do they show Waugh at his most brutally Waspish, a celebrated quality that Cooper did not bring out in him. Waugh began writing Lady Diana, her editor/granddaughter Artemis Cooper tells us, in 1932, while deeply depressed (his wife had deserted him in 1929 after barely a year of marriage, after which he'd converted to Catholicism and thought he could not remarry), and went on writing to her until his death in 1966. The letters were lost until they resurfaced in 1987 and went up for sale. Early letters through WW II were posted by Waugh after parties or seeing Lady Diana play the Madonna on stage in The Miracle or while on his many travels to Abyssinia and elsewhere. They are in an intimate shorthand and filled with friends who pass by like fireflies. The letters rarely enter into any subject for more than a few sentences, though Waugh gets fairly stylish about Cyril Connolly: ``I think he sees himself as a sort of Public Relations Officer for Literature...He is a droll old sponge....'' The best letters come in the 1950's, though by then Waugh is a heavy drinker and Diana filled with black bouts of melancholia and her husband laid low with cirrhosis. Waugh asks, ``Darling Baby/Was our evening out hell? I was looking forward to it so much and what must I do but get pissed. I am so awfully sorry and ashamed. What did we talk about?'' Toward the end he's burned out, refers to his works as potboilers, and prays for death--which comes on Easter Sunday. Many charming moments, far apart. (Sixteen pages of b&w photographs--not seen.) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

The correspondence here, which began in 1932 when Waugh and Lady Diana met and ended in 1966 with his death, includes 250 letters from him and 100 from her. His are virtually complete, but only a third of hers survive. Artemis Cooper, the granddaughter of Lady Diana, has edited them superbly, providing an introduction and connecting material to explain the circumstances under which they were written and annotations identifying all people mentioned and incidents likely to be unfamiliar to current readers. She has cut some "planning and arranging" and "libellous passages, and some hurtful ones" and has also corrected spelling and punctuation. British literature collections will want these letters for the sake of completeness; moreover, they are fun to read.
- Judy Mimken, Delta Coll. & Saginaw Valley State Univ., Saginaw, Mich.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Waugh, Evelyn; Cooper, Diana
Published by Houghton Mifflin, Boston (1992)
ISBN 10: 0395562651 ISBN 13: 9780395562659
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Book Description Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1992. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. No Flaws or Blemishes but minimal retail handling; Still Gift Quality. Hardcover in Dust Jacket. First Edition, First Printing. Dust Jacket with price is in a new clear protective Mylar sleeve. ------ 8vo; 344 pages with index. ----- Everyone knows who Evelyn Waugh was. Not so Diana Cooper, to whom Waugh wrote about 300 letters from 1932 until he died in 1966, 20 years before her own death at a very advanced age. Bookseller Inventory # 008369

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