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A little learning : an autobiography ; the early years

Author: Evelyn Waugh
Publisher: Boston ; Toronto : Little, Brown, [1964]
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : English : [1st American ed.]View all editions and formats
Summary:
Waugh, noted British writer and author of Brideshead Revisited, offers a memoir of his childhood, education and first work experience as a schoolmaster in this first part of a three-volume autobiography.
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Genre/Form: Biography
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Waugh, Evelyn, 1903-1966.
Little learning.
Boston ; Toronto : Little, Brown, [1964]
(OCoLC)573613328
Named Person: Evelyn Waugh
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Evelyn Waugh
OCLC Number: 367797
Description: 234 pages : illustrations, facsimiles, portraits ; 22 cm
Contents: Heredity --
Environment --
My father --
Education begun --
Education concluded --
A brief history of my religious opinions --
Two mentors --
Never a palinode --
In which our hero's fortunes fall very low.
Responsibility: by Evelyn Waugh.

Abstract:

Waugh, noted British writer and author of Brideshead Revisited, offers a memoir of his childhood, education and first work experience as a schoolmaster in this first part of a three-volume autobiography.

"A little learning is a dangerous thing;/Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring."-- Pope's Essay on Criticism. Evelyn Waugh's primary fount of learning was Edwardian England, and in this first of a never-completed three-volume autobiography he recounts his youthful tippling with the refreshing frankness and comic wit which so distinguished his many best-selling novels. Waugh opens this history with the traditional family tree, from which are suspended the respectably solid lawyers, clerics and doctors, and, incongruously, one itinerant painter. The relevance of this inherited collection of ghosts to the lives of their living descendants is, for the writer, a moot point. But the reader might detect a shade of that wandering artist in Waugh. His early youth, spent "in joyous conformity to the law of two adored deities"--his mother and his nurse, his submersion at the age of fourteen in the cold regime of an English boarding school, his revelry at Oxford, where liquor took precedence over learning, and his unhappy experience as a master in a bleak school in Wales, are all included. Waugh confesses also his little-known assay into the delights of Ruskinesque handicraft, and his better-known theological struggles which he resolved temporarily in a youthful and self-conscious stance of atheism. A Little Learning sparkles with Waugh's perceptive and original observations on such things as the fading institution of maiden aunts, remnants of a plush and gaslight era; the common English confusion of antiquity with the sublime to which the author himself was prone; and the curiously cruel attitudes of schoolboys. Even the beleaguered fourteen-year-old Evelyn at Lancing Boarding School does not escape an amusing examination. A Little Learning leaves the author starting up that rocky road to fame, a road the reader was invited to travel with him in the projected remaining volumes of his autobiography.--Adapted from dust jacket.

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