Literary Leicester commemorates Evelyn Waugh with day of events

The University's Literary Leicester festival will commemorate 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.

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travel writing, short fiction, essays, articles, reportage, reviews, letters (about 85% of which are currently unpublished), diaries, poems, juvenilia, parerga, drawings and designs in 43 beautifully crafted volumes.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 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. Literary Leicester 2016 runs from Wednesday 16 November to Saturday 19 November.