Brideshead Revisited

The Sacred and Profane Memoirs of Captain Charles Ryder

WAUGH, Evelyn

One of Fifty Pre-publication Copies Issued Privately for the Author's Friends

WAUGH, Evelyn Brideshead Revisited The Sacred and Profane Memoirs of Captain Charles Ryder

Chapman & Hall, 1945.

First edition. One of fifty pre publication copies, printed for the author for distribution amongst his friends. Author's presentation copy, inscribed to Fitzroy Maclean, "FitzRoy Maclean from Evelyn Waugh March 1945". Original grey paper wrappers with title and notice labels to upper cover. A near fine copy with slight tanning to the spine and minor wear to the oversized portions at the spine ends. An extremely well preserved example of notably fragile rarity.

A fine association copy. Fitzroy Maclean (1911-1996) diplomat, military leader and later writer and politician, came to the attention of Winston Churchill during the war for his insouciance in the face of extreme danger and apparent ability to get out of scrapes comparatively unharmed (characteristics which may have lead his colleague and friend Ian Fleming to base aspects of James Bond's character on Maclean). A succession of successful missions and rapid promotions convinced Churchill that Maclean was the man to act as his special envoy to the Yugoslav leader Josip Tito. Serving under Maclean was Randolph Churchill who in turn recruited his friend Evelyn Waugh to the Yugoslavian mission.
"Randolph Churchill came over to see me before leaving for Croatia. With him came Evelyn Waugh, a new recruit, whose Commando training and adventurous disposition made him a useful addition to the Mission" - Fitzroy Maclean (Eastern Approaches).
Privately, however Maclean regarded Waugh as an irrelevance, later confiding "that he had never - in his entire military career - met an officer so loathed by the men who served under him" - William Boyd (Evelyn Waugh (3) in Bamboo). Waugh in turn took an instant dislike to Maclean, "dour, unprincipled, ambitious, probably very wicked; shaven headed and devil's ears... saturnine and Nazi" was how Waugh described Maclean in his diary upon first having dinner with him.
However it would appear they found a means of tolerating one another and even developed a reserved respect for each other's very different talents. Maclean allowed Waugh to publish his anti-Partisan (and thus anti-government policy) report on Catholicism in Croatia, Church and State in Liberated Croatia, defending the prospect of a court-martial by the Foreign Office. Waugh, having completed the initial draft of Brideshead a month before leaving for Yugoslavia spent his spare hours correcting the proofs and was allowed by Maclean (and his friendship with Randolph Churchill) to use the diplomatic channels to return the corrected proofs to London for publication.
In a letter to his agent in February 1944 Waugh writes, "Would Littlebrown care to produce an edition de luxe or at least de propriété? I should like this book to be in decent form because it is very good. Failing all else can Garfield get hand-made paper for twenty copies or so at my expense?"
In fact fifty copies were produced by the English publishers (at Waugh's expense) and distributed for Christmas. In a letter to Graham Greene accompanying his copy, Waugh indicates that he only inscribed nineteen of the fifty sent. This particular copy will have been presented in person, shortly before being demobilised in September 1945, doubtless as a mark of thanks for the part Maclean played in its publication.

Stock ID: 31645

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