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Beyond Discussion

Neal Ascherson

3 April 1980
The Last Word: An Eye-Witness Account of the Thorpe Trial 
by Auberon Waugh.
Joseph, 240 pp., £6.50, February 1980, 0 7181 1799 9
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... Heh, heh!’ went the judge in the Thorpe trial, Mr Justice Cantley. According to AuberonWaugh, who sat in the press benches all through the six weeks of the Old Bailey proceedings, he made a habit of it: his own jokes, the floundering of witnesses, the incredible spectacle over which he was ...
5 December 1985
The Diaries of Auberon WaughA Turbulent Decade 1976-1985 
edited by Anna Galli-Pahlavi.
Private Eye/Deutsch, 207 pp., £4.95, September 1985, 0 233 97811 9
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... backed literary magazine, I suppose I would find some sections of this often amusing book offensive. Actually, more than offensive. I think I would want to do something pretty unpleasant to A. Waugh. But what? Go around London ‘whingeing’ about the awfulness of what he’d done to me? No good at all. He would hear about it from one of his six friends and then fit me up in his column as some ...
2 December 1982
The ‘Private Eye’ Story: The First 21 Years 
by Patrick Marnham.
Private Eye/Deutsch, 232 pp., £7.95, October 1982, 0 233 97509 8
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One for the Road: Further Letters of Denis Thatcher 
by Richard Ingrams and John Wells.
Private Eye/Deutsch, 80 pp., £2.50, October 1982, 9780233975115
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Sir James Goldsmith: The Man and the Myth 
by Geoffrey Wansell.
Fontana, 222 pp., £1.95, April 1982, 0 00 636503 5
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... once its politics were leftish, its stance investigative, and its key influence Paul Foot, now its politics are rightish, its stance prurient, and its key figures Nigel Dempster, Peter McKay and AuberonWaugh. The radical lampoon has become required reading on the magazine syllabus of every Sloane Ranger. Moreover, the Eye, that fearless exposer of the faintest mafia, now runs a comfortable little ...
12 March 1992
Will this do? 
by Auberon Waugh.
Century, 288 pp., £15.99, October 1991, 0 7126 3734 6
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Mr Wu and Mrs Stitch: The Letters of Evelyn Waugh​ and Diana Cooper 
edited by Artemis Cooper.
Hodder, 344 pp., £19.99, October 1991, 0 340 53488 5
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... When Evelyn Waugh died in 1966, his son Auberon felt that a ‘great brooding presence’ had been lifted ‘not only from the house but from the whole of existence’. Auberon was in his twenties then, and – as he tells it in his book of memoirs – he had long ago got used to living in the shadow of his famously unpleasant dad. ‘It was many years before I could break ...
9 June 1994
... Alexander Chancellor: ‘I am afraid I don’t find the Spectator now as readable as it was in your day. I was rather shocked by the appearance of a long review by Barbara Cartland.’ In April 1979 AuberonWaugh wrote to him: ‘My friend Ferdie Mount has not drawn a sober breath since hearing of some kind word you sent about him to Alexander Chancellor.’ Greene had written to Skvorecky about Evelyn ...

Woof, woof

Rosemary Hill: Auberon Waugh

7 November 2019
A Scribbler in Soho: A Celebration of Auberon​ Waugh 
edited by Naim Attallah.
Quartet, 341 pp., £20, January, 978 0 7043 7457 7
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... On​ National Service in Cyprus in 1958, AuberonWaugh, having ‘miraculously’ become an officer, was sent out with his troop to cover the Nicosia-Kyrenia road between the Turkish village of Guenyeli and the Greek village of Autokoi. This was during ...

Shop Talk

John Lennard

27 January 1994
Jargon: Its Uses and Abuses 
by Walter Nash.
Blackwell, 214 pp., £16.99, September 1993, 9780631180630
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... The reviewers’ quotes which, fifteen years I ago, Macmillan chose for the reprint of Kenneth Hudson’s The Jargon of the Professions were a moral lot. AuberonWaugh, writing for what should now be called Books and Bookpersons, declared that ‘Mr Hudson writes with the elegance, precision and wit of a Fowler ... a delight to read and a mine of useful instruction ...
7 May 1981
... unillusioned portrait of Amis’s public personality alongside an intelligent and generous appraisal of his novels.The star fiction-reviewers were brought out in force: Bernard Levin (Sunday Times), AuberonWaugh (Daily Mail), John Osborne in the very first ‘John Osborne Review’ in the New Standard, a launching to which Quentin Oates devoted some well-placed sarcasms in one of the pieces by him on ...
26 November 1998
The Restraint of Beasts 
by Magnus Mills.
Flamingo, 215 pp., £9.99, September 1998, 0 00 225720 3
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... like the title of a certain other Scottish tale) to speak out loud’. Later, a great deal of insubstantial but newsworthy controversy followed its nomination for the Booker shortlist. An appalled AuberonWaugh made a public objection, on the principled grounds that it wouldn’t do to make every taxi driver think they had a novel in them. ‘If the judges give the Booker Prize to a bus driver for the ...

Alan Coren

Alan Brien

4 December 1980
The Best of Alan Coren 
Robson, 416 pp., £7.50, October 1980, 0 86051 121 9Show More
Tissues for Men 
by Alan Coren.
Robson, 160 pp., £4.95, September 1980, 0 86051 116 2
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... and familiar objects’ are pilloried, they are presented as harmless, endearing relics, to be preserved in the aspic of nostalgia just because they are so laughable – the viewpoint of Wodehouse, Waugh, Nancy Mitford and Peter Simple. The term ‘novelty’, which now gets translated as ‘trendy’ or ‘fashionable’, becomes a dirty word. ‘Feeling profound or vehement’ is reserved for those ...


Karl Miller: Ten Years of the LRB

26 October 1989
... English writers in the context of a culture which most would ignore and not a few entirely repudiate. After all, “European high culture” is a phrase which would have your average critic – an AuberonWaugh, an A.N. Wilson – reaching for a metaphorical shotgun.’ At this point the country is being said to be debarred from sharing in a tradition which, as Kundera himself has made clear, it ...
5 July 1984
Random Variables 
by Lord Rothschild.
Collins, 238 pp., £12.50, May 1984, 0 00 217334 4
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... these last nine pages are of varying quality. The most quoted sage is Aubrey Eban – six entries, one a mere pastiche of Churchillian rhetoric. Churchill himself gets three, Queen Elizabeth I three. AuberonWaugh gets a place, next to Art Buchwald who gets one for the quip ‘Old soldiers never die – they just write their memoirs.’ A 16th-century Grand Inquisitor, in a different vein of seriousness ...

The Calvinist International

Colin Kidd: Hugh Trevor-Roper

22 May 2008
The Invention of Scotland: Myth and History 
by Hugh Trevor-Roper.
Yale, 267 pp., £18.99, May 2008, 978 0 300 13686 9
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Europe’s Physician: The Various Life of Sir Theodore de Mayerne 
by Hugh Trevor-Roper.
Yale, 438 pp., £25, October 2006, 0 300 11263 7
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... adversaries, their pupils and heirs had not forgotten the scars borne by the previous generation. In his battle with Trevor-Roper over matters of recusant history, the ‘convert-novelist’ Evelyn Waugh had offered some barbed advice to the young Oxford historian, whom Waugh presumed to have disgraced: the only ‘honourable course’ open to him was to ‘change his name and seek a livelihood at ...
22 November 1979
by Richard Ingrams.
Private Eye/Deutsch, 144 pp., £4.25
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... to his magazine. He therefore doesn’t attempt to fathom Goldsmith’s reasons too deeply. He concludes that Goldsmith was intrigued by the personalities of contributors to the magazine, Messrs Waugh, West, Gillard and Marnham, and would have liked to have been editor of Private Eye. Goldsmith’s aversion to the Eye certainly seems to have been different from the conventional dislike. It may ...

What a Lot of Parties

Christopher Hitchens: Diana Mosley

30 September 1999
Diana Mosley: A Biography 
by Jan Dalley.
Faber, 297 pp., £20, October 1997, 0 571 14448 9
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... and the Goebbelses, and committed suicide himself. I received a moist letter from the editor of the magazine, written in the tone of ‘I hope you’re satisfied now.’ I was accused in print, by AuberonWaugh, of having more or less driven Dosse to his death by my vile polemics and of having cruelly lampooned his name as ‘Dose or Dosser’. And I got letters from both Mosleys, on writing paper ...

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