Number 2 - Autumn 1967

Robert Murray Davis (University of Oklahoma)

In 1960, Chapman and Hall began to issue the second uniform edition of Evelyn Waugh's
novels with new prefaces and some alterations in the text by the author. The prefaces deal in
fairly general terms with the genesis of each book and the conditions under which it was
written, and they sometimes make pointed comments on the book's quality or lack of it. The
revisions of the text from the first uniform editions vary considerably in number and
importance: none at all in Vile Bodies, one (p. 64 full fig to p. 62 full fig) in The Loved One, a
dozen of slight significance in Black Mischief (p. 36 As we go marching on to p. 38 His truth is
marching on and p. 69 somewhere in the North to p. 74 somewhere in the West are the most
important) to more than 150, many of great importance, in Brideshead Revisited.

The value of the material to students of Waugh's life and work is suggested by the changes in
Scoop. The account of the book's sources adds little to our knowledge, for critics have already
developed in some detail the similarities between Scoop and Waugh in Abyssinia. Of greater
importance is Waugh's testimony that "This light-hearted tale was the fruit of a time of general
anxiety and distress but, for its author, one of peculiar personal happiness." His state of mind,
clearly a result of his marriage to Laura Herbert, to whom the novel is dedicated, helps to
account for the change in atmosphere from the tenseness and enervation of A Handful of
Dust to the sense of mellowness, ease, and spaciousness that underlies not only Scoop but
Work Suspended and Put Out More Flags. It could be further argued that in Scoop Waugh
was saying farewell to the frenetic world of Lord Copper and Mrs. Stitch as he retreated to the
stability and happiness of country life. At the same time, the threats to this new security posed
by political developments may account in part for the increasing sharpness of the comments
in his non-fiction, most notably in the chaotic and destructive world of socialized industry and
urban life in Mexico: An Object Lesson.

The seventeen substantive variations between the first and second uniform editions of Scoop
seem calculated to make statement more precise, as in 168/178; dialogue more consistent
with character, as in William Boot's increased blankness in 32/43 and 69/79 and the
increased obsequiousness and peremptoriness of Salter and Lord Copper in 208/220. Other
changes seem less effective: the shrub's properties are made more realistic but less amusing
in 117/128; the travesty in 233/246 is intrusive and strained; and the entrance of Uncle
Theodore in 233/246 is made needlessly explicit.

There is only one significant type of non-substantive variation: the elimination of all chapter
numbers in the subdivision of each book of the novel. The divisions remain, however, and are
indicated by breaks in the text.

Page references in the following textual notes are to the Uniform Edition (London: Chapman
and Hall, 1948; new impressions 1951, 1959) and to the new uniform edition (London:
Chapman and Hall, 1964).

        Uniform Edition (1948)                                New Uniform Edition (1964)
                             Evelyn Waugh Newsletter 2, Autumn 1967

title   Scoop : A Novel About Journalists           title   Scoop
page                                                page

31      the Daily Twopence                          42      The Twopence

32      Fifty pounds a month was the sum            43      Fifty pounds a week was the
        suggested."                                         sum suggested.
        "Fifty pounds a month!" said William,               "Gosh," said William.
        "A week," said Mr. Salter hastily.
        "Gosh," said William.

46      oblivious to                                57      unconscious of

69      slow on that. See?"                         79      slow on that. See?"
        "I think so."                                       That afternoon Coker
        That afternoon Coker

117     a little shrub, to whose seed-pods he       128     a little shrub, to whose seed-
        attributed medical properties of a barely           pods he attributed intoxicant
        credible order.                                     properties.

123     old boy                                     134     brother

168     his relatives                               178     his family

178     He read the manifesto.                      189     He read the manifesto as he
                                                            returned to the Pension Dressler.

181     a town of unsuspected convenience.          192     a town of unsuspected

182     blue guns                                   194     blue gums

189     ten day, ten hour, week                     200     ten day, fifty hour, week

208     and see me ? "                              220-    and see me ? "
        "No, Lord Copper."                          221     "Up to a point, Lord Copper."
        "But I asked for him."                              "I asked for him."

212     killing wasps                               224     killing comatose wasps

223     let him go. "Wash your hands," she said,     236    let him go. "Change your clothes
        "and brush your hair nicely. I don't know           quickly. Wash your hands," she
        what your mother will say at you going              said, "and brush your hair nicely.
        down to dinner in flannels. And mind you            And mind you

233     out of sight. Mr. Salter was                246     out of sight.
                                                            "A Boot, a Boot, my kingdom for
                                                            a Boot."
                                                            Mr. Salter was

233     Says Salter sent him." (end of chapter)     246     Says Salter sent for him."
                                                            "Bring him in."
                                                            "And bring a contract form with
                                                            him. "
                                                            And Uncle Theodore was led in,
                                                            shedding Edwardian light and
                                                            warmth in that dingy room.


                            Evelyn Waugh Newsletter 2, Autumn 1967

P. A. Doyle ( Nassau Community College, SUNY)

In 1962 "a revised edition" of Decline and Fall was published in Britain. In a preface written
especially for this volume, Waugh noted that the novel had originally been rejected by
Duckworth because of "indelicacy". He further recorded that the eventual publishers,
Chapman and Hall, demanded several changes in the manuscript for reasons of propriety and
literary improvement. Waugh agreed to the recommended changes which were suggested by
editor Ralph Straus of Chapman and Hall. In the 1962 edition Waugh has restored the original
text before it was altered by Straus; he does not insist that this text be taken as final but
presents it as gesture of "turning back the clock."

To assuage further the doubts which the novel had aroused, Waugh prefixed the following
"Author's Note" to the 1928 edition:

        I hope that my publishers are wrong when they say that this a shocking
        novelette. ! did not mean it to be when I wrote it, and I do not believe that
        anyone with a sense of humour will find it so. Still less is it a book with a
        purpose. I hope that somewhere a school like Llanabba may exist, and a staff
        like Dr. Fagan's, but it has never been my good fortune to come across them.
        In fact, I have never met anyone at all like any of the characters, nor have I
        yet been sent to prison. I apologise heartily to anyone who sees himself in
        this tarnished little mirror; everything is drawn, without malice, from the
        vaguest of imaginations. Please bear in mind throughout that IT IS MEANT
        TO BE FUNNY.

This rather surprising commentary, which has never appeared in any of the American editions
of the book, is indicative of the shock and dismay which the novel obviously called forth in
more than one mind.

Examining the differences between the standard 1928 edition and the 1962 "original text,"
one finds the most prudish kind of Victorianism at work. A listing of some of the most basic
differences will support this observation.

In the 1928 edition, a Matisse painting is thrown into a "water jug" (4); in the 1962 volume the
painting is thrown into the "lavatory" (15). During the Bollinger seizure of Pennyfeather, the
following line is omitted in the standard edition: "They appear to be tearing off his clothes"
(1962 ed. - 17). The following sentence appears only in the 1962 volume: "It reminds me of
the communist rising in Budapest when I was on the debt commission" (14). This deletion was
probably intended to prevent the conduct of an Oxford fraternal group from being tainted by
any metaphor involving communism. Philbrick reports his conversation with the Welsh station
and band master in the 1962 edition: "If either of you ever wants a woman, his sister -" (40); in
the 1928 version Philbrick comments: "Feeling lonely? ...if either of you wants an introduction
to a young lady -" (31-32). At the "Sports" (1928 ed.) the station-band master offers Lord
Circumference his sister-in-law (99); in the 1962 version he offers his sister (95), and is later
distressed that Grimes would not accept his sister (127) - but it becomes "sister-in-law" in the
1928 volume (138). In his preface to the revised edition Waugh mentions this change as one
of Ralph Straus's pet suggestions: "He thought it, for instance, more chaste that the Llanabba
Station Master should seek employment for his sister-in-law, rather than his sister."

In the standard edition of 1928, cigars were found in the school "boiler room" (40-41) instead
of in the "lavatory" (46-47). Material about Philbrick and Dingy having a sexual intrigue (51)
has been eliminated in the 1928 edition (45), and some material has been added to stress the
mystery of Philbrick (45-46). "Psychoanalysis" (1928 ed. - 47) has been substituted for the
more accurate (the reference is to Grimes) but apparently offensive "sexual psychology" (52).
Waugh had originally written about the Welsh (1962 ed.): "Their sons and daughters mate
freely with the sheep but not with human kind except their own blood relations" (79). In the
1928 edition this sentence reads, "their sons and daughters rarely mate with human kind
except their own blood relations" (80). In the 1928 version, several lines were omitted about

                             Evelyn Waugh Newsletter 2, Autumn 1967

Grimes's homosexuality with the result that the aberration becomes vaguer and much less
apparent (1928 - 123-124; 1962 - 115). In this regard, many a college student reader, even at
this sophisticated time, will question if Grimes really is a homosexual.

The standard 1928 version omits the statement that the chaplain was drunk at Grimes's first
marriage (1962 ed. 120), and also omits Peter Beste-Chetwynde's remark that Margot's boy
friends "tend to get flirtatious with (him)" (1962 ed. -158). Margot's rejection of an experienced
candidate for her Latin-American Entertainment Ltd. business becomes "Sorry, Bessy;
nothing for you just at present" (1928- 190); the original manuscript read: "Sorry, Bessy,
nothing for you until you're well again" (1962 - 171). In the original manuscript Waugh had the
prison medical officer ask Pennyfeather "Suffering from consumption, V.D., or any contagious
disease?" (193), while in the regular version "V.D." (215) has been left out.

The above mentioned examples are the most salient illustrations of squeamishness and
residue Victorianism at work. The alterations reveal an excessive predilection for propriety in
print which was not uncharacteristic of the time, although in this instance the censorship
appears to be excessive. There ore some additional similar examples, but the most important
cases of bowdlerization have been indicated.

Further changes not involving alleged indelicacy are, far the mast part, not highly significant.
Most of these alterations involve a tightening of the text, making it more concise or clearer.
Some of the editorial changes by Straus, however, seem to be definite improvements. For
example, in the chapter entitled "Llanabba Castle" (1928) Grimes and Prendergast each
introduce themselves clearly to Pennyfeather by name (19); in the 1962 edition the identity of
the two schoolmasters is not immediately apparent, and this presents some awkwardness
and confusion (30-31). In "The Sports" chapter when Prendergast accidentally shoots Lord
Tangent in the foot, Grimes remarks, "The man's as tight as a lord, and on one whiskey, too"
(87). This rendering seems clearer and more appropriate than the clipped version in the 1962
volume: "The man's as tight as a lord, whiskey" (85). In the 1928 book Grimes notes his
departure from public school: "I got the push soon after my sixteenth birthday" (29); in the
1962 edition he declares, "I left soon after my sixteenth birthday" (37). The phrase "got the
push" is typical of the type of language which annoyed Dr. Fagan and is much more
characteristic of the way Grimes speaks. The answer, "No, I'm afraid not" (1928 ed. - 63)
when Philbrick asks Pennyfeather about his knowledge of a certain prize fighter appears to
furnish a smoother and more logical transition between two paragraphs, yet this line is
omitted in the 1962 version (65). Apart from these, and perhaps a few other instances, the
1962 text is by far the more humorous and more effective choice. Publishers of any future
editions of Decline and Fall would be well instructed to restore Waugh's original uncensored
version as the definitive text and to adopt at least the four Straus-suggested emendations
mentioned above.

A widely circulated national magazine recently devoted a lengthy essay to present-day
American comedy, focusing on black humor. Citing such authors as Terry Southern, Joseph
Heller and Bruce Jay Friedman, the essay left the impression that black humor was an
American development. Obviously, however, Evelyn Waugh's novels are filled with black
humor: one immediately thinks of the conclusion of Black Mischief and of books like The
Loved One.

C. P. Snow traces the origins of what he calls a "special kind of fluid and capricious comedy"
to Anton Chekhov and claims that this genre came to England via William Gerhardi and was
then taken up by Waugh, Powell, and Cooper (See TLS, August 15, 1958 and Kenyon
Review, XXIII (Winter 1961), 1-17). Yet Ronald Firbank cannot be overlooked; neither can
Saki, and black humor in various forms is found in past centuries. Petronius, for example, is a
black humorist. A vast area for exploration lies open, and a definition of terms is very much in
order. Research, please! And highly desirable is the recognition of Waugh's important position
in the development of modern black humor.

                              Evelyn Waugh Newsletter 2, Autumn 1967

Christopher Sykes has been designated to write the "official" biography of Waugh. It is
estimated that this book will be ready for publication in three years.

According to A. D. Peters, Waugh's literary agent, Waugh actually completed "only a few
pages" of A Little Hope, the second volume of his autobiography.

Neville Braybrooke is presently at work on a study analyzing the Sword of Honour trilogy in
relation to Ford Madox Ford's Parade's End. Mr. Braybrooke seeks to know if Waugh
mentioned Ford either orally or in print - other than in Rossetti. Readers able to give further
information about Waugh's viewpoints on Ford are asked to write EWN.

We should very much like to publish reminiscences - anecdotes, incidents, or essays - about
Waugh; reminiscences of Waugh in the British army or during his American visits would be
particularly welcome.

Dr. Charles E. Linck, Jr. has suggested that a list of M.A. theses about Waugh be compiled
and that an abstract be made of each .Teachers and graduate students are asked to forward
lists and/or abstracts to Dr. Linck, Box 3002, E.T. Station, Commerce, Texas 75428.

The Evelyn Waugh Newsletter, designed to stimulate research and continue interest in the life
and writings of Evelyn Waugh, is published three times a year in April, October, and
December (Spring, Autumn, and Winter numbers). Subscription rate for libraries and
interested individuals: $l.00 a year (8s in England). Single copy 35 cents. Checks or money
orders should be made payable to the Evelyn Waugh Newsletter. Notes, brief essays, and
news items about Waugh and his work may be submitted but manuscripts cannot be returned
unless accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Address all correspondence to
Dr. P.A. Doyle, c/o English Deportment, Nassau Community College, State University of New
York, Garden City, New York 11530.

            Editorial Board

             Editor:              P.A. Doyle

            Associate            Alfred W. Borrello (Mercer County Community
            Editors:             College)

                                  James F. Carens (Bucknell University)

                                  Robert M. Davis (University of Oklahoma)

                                  Heinz Kosok (University of Marburg)

                                 Charles E. Linck, Jr. (East Texas State


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