Summer 1947 • Vol. IX No. 3 NonfictionJuly 1, 1947 |

The Pieties of Evelyn Waugh

Mr. Evelyn Waugh's seventh and latest novel, Brideshead Revisited, was fortunate in earning the approval both of the reading public and of the theologians. In England, The Tablet saw in it "a great apologetic work in the larger and more humane sense," and in the United States, where it sold over half a million copies, the critics of the leading Catholic journals concurred in this judgment. One of them, however—H. C. Gardiner, in America, 12th January, 1946—complained with justice that all the non-Catholic reviewers, including those who made it the Book of the Month Club selection, had missed the religious point of the book. It seems probable therefore that most of Mr. Waugh's readers, in America at any rate, did not know that they were reading a great apologetic work, and that, if they paid any attention to the Catholicism of Brideshead Revisited at all, they valued it as part of the general baronial decorations around a tale of love and high-life. In this, of course, they w

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