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Mad World By Paula Byrne

Mad World
by Paula Byrne

In Stock
$11.49
+10% GST

A terrifically engaging and original biography about one of England's greatest novelists, and the glamorous, eccentric, debauched and ultimately tragic family that provided him with the most significant friendships of his life and inspired his masterpiece, `Brideshead Revisited'.

7 in stock

Mad World Summary


Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead by Paula Byrne

A terrifically engaging and original biography about one of England's greatest novelists, and the glamorous, eccentric, debauched and ultimately tragic family that provided him with the most significant friendships of his life and inspired his masterpiece, `Brideshead Revisited'.

Evelyn Waugh was already famous when `Brideshead Revisited' was published in 1945. Written at the height of the war, the novel was, he admitted, of no `immediate propaganda value'. Instead, it was the story of a household, a family and a journey of religious faith - an elegy, in many ways, for a vanishing world and a testimony to a family he had fallen in love with a decade earlier.

The Lygons of Madresfield were every bit as glamorous, eccentric and compelling as their counterparts in `Brideshead Revisited'. In this engrossing biography, Paula Byrne takes an innovative approach to her subject, setting out to capture Waugh through those friendships that mattered most to him. Far from the snobbish misanthropist of popular caricature, she uncovers a man as loving and complex as the family that inspired him - a family deeply traumatised when their father was revealed as a homosexual and forced to flee the country.

This brilliantly original biography unlocks for the first time the extent to which Waugh's great novel encoded and transformed his own experiences. In so doing, it illuminates the loves and obsessions that shaped his life, and brings us inevitably to a secret that dared not speak its name.

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Mad World Reviews


'Byrne's gift as a writer is her ability to combine scholarship with turbo-driven narrative power. "Mad World" is vibrant, absorbing, stranger than fiction' Sunday Times

'Paula Byrne has written a highly accomplished book about the family that came to inspire the Flytes of Brideshead ... a marvellous book, warm, witty, and enormously readable' Daily Telegraph

'Paula Byrne is the latest to explore the people and the story that inspired the book, and she does so with acuity and panache ... a lively introduction to Waugh and to Brideshead' Observer

`"Mad World" is full of fascinating anecdotes ... Paula Byrne has produced a strong and romantic book that is at once a touching story of deep friendships, an astute piece of literary criticism and an important contribution to the canon of Waugh biography" Alexander Waugh, Literary Review

'[A] gripping account of Evelyn Waugh's life' Philip Hoare

`vibrant, absorbing and stranger than fiction'
'Byrne's gift as a writer is her ability to combine scholarship with turbo-driven narrative power. "Mad World" is vibrant, absorbing, stranger than fiction' Sunday Times

'Paula Byrne has written a highly accomplished book about the family that came to inspire the Flytes of Brideshead ... a marvellous book, warm, witty, and enormously readable' Daily Telegraph

'Paula Byrne is the latest to explore the people and the story that inspired the book, and she does so with acuity and panache ... a lively introduction to Waugh and to Brideshead' Observer

`"Mad World" is full of fascinating anecdotes ... Paula Byrne has produced a strong and romantic book that is at once a touching story of deep friendships, an astute piece of literary criticism and an important contribution to the canon of Waugh biography" Alexander Waugh, Literary Review

'[A] gripping account of Evelyn Waugh's life' Philip Hoare

`vibrant, absorbing and stranger than fiction'
The Sunday Times

About Paula Byrne


Paula Byrne was born in Birkenhead and has a PhD from the University of Liverpool, where she is a Research Fellow in English Literature. Her first book, `Jane Austen and the Theatre', was shortlisted for the Theatre Book Prize. Her second book, `Perdita', was a Richard and Judy bookclub pick. A regular contributor to the `Times Literary Supplement', she lives in Warwickshire with her two young children and her husband, the critic and biographer Jonathan Bate.

Additional information

GOR001969865
Mad World: Evelyn Waugh and the Secrets of Brideshead by Paula Byrne
Paula Byrne
Used - Very Good
Paperback
HarperCollins Publishers
2010-05-27
384
0007243774
9780007243778
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.