In the Picture: The Facts behind the Fiction in Evelyn Waugh’s Sword of Honour
Editorial: Rodopi / Brill Año: 2014
By Donat Gallagher & Carlos Villar Flor
Evelyn Waugh at war is an irresistibly fascinating subject, as are his war novels and diaries. Drawn to units offering the greatest danger, but often frustrated in his search for action, Waugh served in multiple regiments, saw battle on Crete and worked behind the lines in occupied Croatia. In the Picture traces Waugh’s experiences, both vivid and mundane, with a completeness never before attempted and shows how they come alive in Sword of Honour. It also illuminates the brief hints within the narrative of key events of the war, while highlighting its strategic direction. Waugh’s individualistic relationships with superiors, subordinates and public opinion led to blame and controversy. Working mainly from archival sources, In the Picture examines Waugh’s fitness to be an officer, his conduct on Crete, his being sacked from the Special Service Brigade, and his service in Croatia. New, very surprising discoveries dispel entrenched myths.