Epic effort to publish complete works of Brideshead Revisited author launching soon

An epic effort to bring together for the first time The Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh is being spearheaded by the author’s grandson in collaboration with our University.

Oxford University Press (OUP), in association with our University, is publishing a full critical scholarly edition of The Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh. This brings together, for the first time, all of Waugh's extant writings and graphic art, both previously published and unpublished.

Alexander Waugh, Evelyn Waugh's grandson and the edition's General Editor, is overseeing the publication of 43 volumes. Waugh’s biographer, Professor Martin Stannard of our School of Arts, and the late Prof David Bradshaw, of Worcester College, Oxford have been Co-Executive Editors of the first five volumes.

No other collection of a British novelist’s work has been undertaken on a comparable scale. OUP signed up The Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh (CWEW) in 2009, generously funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council which invested £822,481 over five years between 2013–18.

It will include novels, biographies, essays, letters, reportage, travel writings, reviews, diaries, poems, drawings, and designs, presented with comprehensive introductions and annotation. Every volume of fiction and non-fiction gives a full account of the text's manuscript development and textual variants, and each volume will guide the reader through its rich literary, social, and biographical context.

Professor Stannard, Principal Investigator on the project, said: “The edition will revolutionise Waugh studies, and 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.

“Our editors have been given permission by the Evelyn Waugh Estate to quote freely from the writer's published and unpublished materials, a privilege never before available to Waugh scholars.”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 Research Associate for this Leicester-based Arts & Humanities Research Council funded project has been Dr Barbara Cooke, now of Loughborough University.

The first four volumes will be published this September, with a fifth later in the autumn, and the next set due to appear in 2019.