Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Commonplaces: Evelyn Waugh the Young Atheist

May 15, 2014

Evelyn Waugh, who would become one of the best-known British writers of his age, chronicled the decline and fall of the British aristocracy in works such as Brideshead Revisited (1945). A generation of Americans now fascinated by Downton Abbey is generally unaware that literary figures like Waugh captured the end of the aristocratic age long before television had been invented.

Waugh was raised within the traditional British educational system for the upper classes. He attended Lancing College, a preparatory school for boys, as a teenager. The school, located in the English countryside in West Sussex, stated as its mission to educate boys “based on sound principle and sound knowledge, firmly grounded in the Christian faith.”

But the Christian faith Waugh found at Lancing was tepid at best, more tradition than conviction. Waugh participated in the compulsory chapel services and served as a sacristan, or assistant in worship.

Read the full story at

No comments: