1066 and All That? History in Evelyn Waugh's Edmund Campion (Essay)
Evelyn Waugh Newsletter and Studies 2011, Spring, 42, 1
Evelyn Waugh Newsletter and Studies
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Reviewing the American Edition of Edmund Campion for the New Yorker in 1946, Edmund Wilson, the eminent novelist and critic, wrote: "Waugh's version of history is in its main lines more or less in the vein of 1066 And All That. Catholicism was a Good Thing and Protestantism was a Bad Thing, and that is all that needs to be said about it."  Strangely, Wilson went on to accuse Edmund Campion of making "no attempt to create historical atmosphere"; and this of a biography that offends, where it offends, by locating its central biographical narrative within a boldly tendentious--and atmospheric--version of Elizabethan history. Despite this opening, which seems to promise a discussion of Waugh's history in the broad, the following modest essay will concern itself mainly with slips and blunders, primarily because one noted Campion scholar virtually defines Waugh's Edmund Campion by its "irritating historical errors."  But it is fair to ask how numerous, and how significant, such errors really are, and why they have been given such notoriety. Is Waugh's history really "in the vein of 1066 And All That"? At the outset it must be said that Waugh went to extraordinary lengths to disclaim any pretensions to scholarship for his "short, popular life." He emphasized his heavy dependence on Richard Simpson's biography of Campion,  and in the Preface to the Second [British] Edition declares: "All I have done is select the incidents which struck a novelist as important, and relate them in a single narrative." But Waugh was being modest, for close reading shows that he drew extensively on the scholarly works listed in his bibliography and that he used a collection of "notes and documents" made available to him by Father Leo Hicks, S.J., an historian of note. Waugh writes like a student of his subject, and he cannot, and should not, be excused for making mistakes on the ground that he has merely written "a short, popular life."
- € 2,99
- Categorie: Taalkunde
- Publicatiedatum: 22-03-2011
- Uitgever: The Evelyn Waugh Society
- Tekstlengte: 18 pagina's
- Taal: Engels