WAUGH, Evelyn. Brideshead Revisited. The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder. A Novel. London: Chapman & Hall Ltd., 1945.
8o. Original stiff blue wrappers, title label and publisher's notice on front cover. Provenance: CYRIL CONNOLLY (1903-1974), English critic, editor of Horizon (presentation inscription).
PRE-PUBLICATION EDITION, THE TRUE FIRST EDITION OF BRIDESHEAD REVISITED, one of only 50 copies printed for the author for distribution to friends. A VERY FINE LITERARY ASSOCIATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY WAUGH TO CYRIL CONNOLLY on the half-title: "Dear Cyril Pray do not let your London friends persuade you that you are caricatured in this old-fashioned fiction. Think of all that Belloc wrote of the noble qualities of the men of Sussex & be guided by them. Love from Evelyn." Waugh's inscription echoes the sentiments of the printed note on the verso of the title: "I am not I: thou art not he or she; they are not they."
Waugh and Connolly, both prickly men, sustained their friendship for almost five decades. Connolly almost always praised Waugh in print, selecting Decline and Fall for his selction of modern masterpieces, The Modern Movement ("one of the wittiest and most original of first novels"). Connolly noted in his review of Decline and Fall that it was the only book he had ever read professionally twice. Waugh's critical nature, however, over-ruled personal friendships, as when he published a merciless tear-up of Connolly's The Unquiet Grave, which now is generally considered his most successful book. Connolly was several times parodied by Waugh, and by Waugh's close friend and correspondent Nancy Mitford, to the point that Connolly once told Waugh that "he did not regard the sufferings of his fellow men as the subject for humor" (quoted in Nora Sayre, "Poison Pens," The New York Times, 4 May 1997).
Waugh requested that this special edition be printed in order to solicit changes from his friends: "Six months before publication, fifty copies were specially bound and sent to friends for Christmas. Evelyn, in Dubrovnik [as a member of the Military Mission to Tito] waited eagerly for the first reactions..." (Selina Hastings, Evelyn Waugh, London, 1994, p.490). Several changes were made as a result of his friends's comments, including some passages considered too coarse by Fr. Martin D'Arcy. The ending, which referred to the Protestant Reformers as "black-gowned Hoopers," was rewritten. Ronald Knox, a Catholic priest, suggested that the scene involving the deconsecration of the chapel should be amended and Nancy Mitford suggested that "diamond clips" be changed to "diamond arrow."
Waugh had asked Nancy Mitford to record reactions. Connolly's was: "Brilliant where the narrative is straight forward. Doesn't care for the 'purple passages' i.e. deathbed of Lord M. Thinks you go too much to Whites. But found it impossible to put down (no wonder)" (quoted in Selina Hastings, Evelyn Waugh, Boston, 1994, p.491).
RSCARCE: a letter by Graham Greene accompanying the copy inscribed to him indicated that Waugh may have only inscribed 19 of the 50 copies (Jeffrey Young Collection, Sotheby's London, 14 December 1992, lot 182). Davis et al, XV. A VERY FINE COPY.
WAUGH, Evelyn. Typed document signed ("Evelyn Waugh") contract with American publisher Little, Brown for rights to Brideshead Revisited, Boston, 30 December 1945. 9½ pages, folio, stappled into blue wrapper, docketed on front. Attached are permissions for reprints by Harcourt, Brace and Little, Brown which also include rights to Scott-King's Modern Europe, Black Mischief, Decline and Fall and others. On top is a typed letter from Waugh's literary agent, A.D. Peters, to Little, Brown descriping the rights to "cheap editions." (2)