Evelyn Waugh letters shed light on his abandoned first novel

In correspondence going to auction this week, the writer describes how he burned a manuscript titled The Temple at Thatch

An unpublished letter in which a “despondent” Evelyn Waugh recounts how he burned his first attempt at a novel is to be auctioned this week.

Part of a set of 10 unpublished letters, mostly written to his friend Richard Plunket Greene, the missives date from a difficult period in Waugh’s life. The would-be author spent six months teaching at Welsh prep school Arnold House in 1925 and, while there, wrote to Plunket Greene about the lack of enjoyment he found in teaching the boys. “The older they are the more stupid I find them,” he wrote.

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