Alexander Raban Waugh
(8 July 1898 – 3 September 1981), was a British novelist, the elder brother of the better-known Evelyn Waugh
Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh , known as Evelyn Waugh, was an English writer of novels, travel books and biographies. He was also a prolific journalist and reviewer...
and son of Arthur Waugh
Arthur Waugh was an English author, literary critic, and publisher. He was the father of the writers Alec and Evelyn Waugh.-His life:...
, author, literary critic, and publisher. His first wife was Barbara Jacobs (daughter of the writer William Wymark Jacobs), his second wife was Joan Chirnside and his third wife was Virginia Sorenson
Virginia Sorensen, also credited as Virginia Sorenson, was the author of the 1957 John Newbery Medal winning Miracles on Maple Hill. Her first novel, A Little Lower Than the Angels, was written and published in 1942 while she resided in Terre Haute, Indiana, with her first husband Frederick C...
, author of the Newbery Medal
The John Newbery Medal is a literary award given by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association . The award is given to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children. The award has been given since 1922. ...
-winning Miracles on Maple Hill
Miracles on Maple Hill is a 1956 novel by Virginia Sorenson that won the 1957 Newbery Medal for excellence in American children's literature.-Plot:...
Waugh was born in London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...
, and educated at Sherborne School
Sherborne School is a British independent school for boys, located in the town of Sherborne in north-west Dorset, England. It is one of the original member schools of the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference....
, a public school
A public school, in common British usage, is a school that is neither administered nor financed by the state or from taxpayer contributions, and is instead funded by a combination of endowments, tuition fees and charitable contributions, usually existing as a non profit-making charitable trust...
Dorset , is a county in South West England on the English Channel coast. The county town is Dorchester which is situated in the south. The Hampshire towns of Bournemouth and Christchurch joined the county with the reorganisation of local government in 1974...
. The result of his experiences was his first, semi-autobiographical novel
An autobiographical novel is a form of novel using autofiction techniques, or the merging of autobiographical and fiction elements. The literary technique is distinguished from an autobiography or memoir by the stipulation of being fiction...
, The Loom of Youth
(1917), in which he remembered and reflected on his schooldays. The book was clearly inspired by The Harrovians
by Arnold Lunn
Sir Arnold Henry Moore Lunn was a famous skier, mountaineer and writer. He was knighted for "services to British Skiing and Anglo-Swiss relations" in 1952.He was born in Madras, India and died in London.-Early life:...
, published in 1913 and discussed at some length in The Loom of Youth.
The Loom of Youth
was so controversial at the time (it openly mentioned homosexual relationships between boys) that he remains the only former pupil to be expelled from the old boys society (The Old Shirburnian Society). It was also a best seller.
When the book was published Waugh was serving in France, although he did not see action in the First World War
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...
until Passchendaele. He was subsequently captured by the Germans near Arras and spent the rest of the war in a prisoner-of-war camp in Karlsruhe. He went on to a career as a successful author, although never as successful or innovative as his younger brother. He lived much of his life overseas, in exotic places such as Tangier
Tangier, also Tangiers is a city in northern Morocco with a population of about 700,000 . It lies on the North African coast at the western entrance to the Strait of Gibraltar where the Mediterranean meets the Atlantic Ocean off Cape Spartel...
– a lifestyle made possible by his second marriage, to a rich Australian (Joan Chirnside). His work, possibly in consequence, tends to be reminiscent of Somerset Maugham, although without Maugham's huge popular success. Nevertheless, his 1957 novel Island in the Sun
was a best-seller, as was his 1973 novel, A Fatal Gift
. According to his nephew Auberon
Auberon Alexander Waugh was a British author and journalist, son of the novelist Evelyn Waugh. He was known to his family and friends as Bron Waugh.-Life and career:...
, Alec Waugh "wrote many books, each worse than the last."
Alec Waugh was the author of In Praise of Wine & Certain Noble Spirits
(1959), an amusing and discursive guide to the major wine types, and Wines and Spirits
, a 1968 book in the Time-Life series Foods of the World
. This was not a stretch as he was a noted connoisseur. Waugh is said to have invented the cocktail party
A cocktail party is a party where cocktails are served. Women may choose to wear what has become known as a cocktail dress.Although many believe the inventor of the cocktail party to be Alec Waugh of London, who in 1924 found a need for this pleasant interlude before a dinner party, an article in...
when he was active in London social life in the 1920s when he served rum swizzles
A Rum Swizzle is a rum-based cocktail often called "Bermuda's national drink". The Royal Gazette has referred to it as "the legendary rum swizzle...perfect for sharing and irresistible to locals and tourists alike" In addition to providing the "swizzle" portion of the 1933 swizzle stick product...
to astonished friends who thought they had come for tea. Within eighteen months, early evening drinks had become a widespread social entertainment.
Waugh also has a footnote in the history of reggae
Reggae is a music genre first developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s. While sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to most types of Jamaican music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that originated following on the development of ska and rocksteady.Reggae is based...
music. The success of the film adaptation of Island in the Sun
Island in the Sun is a 1957 film that stars an ensemble cast including James Mason, Joan Fontaine, Dorothy Dandridge, Joan Collins, Michael Rennie and Harry Belafonte. The cast includes also Diana Wynyard, Patricia Owens and Stephen Boyd. The film is about race relations and interracial romance...
and the Harry Belafonte
Harold George "Harry" Belafonte, Jr. is an American singer, songwriter, actor and social activist. He was dubbed the "King of Calypso" for popularizing the Caribbean musical style with an international audience in the 1950s...
title track provided inspiration as well as the name for the highly successful Island Records
Island Records is a record label that was founded by Chris Blackwell in Jamaica. It was based in the United Kingdom for many years and is now owned by Universal Music Group...
- The Loom of Youth (1917)
- Resentment Poems (1918)
- The Prisoners of Mainz (1919)
- Pleasure (1921)
- Public School Life: Boys, Parents, Masters (1922)
- The Lonely Unicorn (1922)
- Myself When Young : confessions (1923)
- Card Castle (1924)
- Kept : a story of post-war London (1925)
- Love In These Days (1926)
- On Doing What One Likes (1926)
- Nor Many Waters (1928)
- The Last Chukka : Stories of East and West (1928)
- Three Score and Ten (1929)
- "Sir!" She Said (1930)
- The Coloured Countries (1930)
- Hot Countries (1930) , with woodcuts by Lynd Ward
Lynd Kendall Ward was an American artist and storyteller, and son of Methodist minister and prominent political organizer Harry F. Ward. He illustrated some 200 juvenile and adult books...
- Most Women (1931)
- So Lovers Dream (1931)
- Leap Before You Look (1932)
- No Quarter (book)|No Quarter (1932)
- Thirteen Such Years (1932)
- Wheels Within Wheels (1933)
- The Balliols (1934)
- Jill Somerset (1936)
- Eight Short Stories (1937)
- Going Their Own Ways (1938)
- No Truce With Time (1941)
- His Second War (1944)
- The Sunlit Caribbean (1948)
- These Would I Choose (1948)
- Unclouded Summer (1948)
- The Sugar Islands: a Caribbean travelogue (1949)
- The Lipton Story (1950)
- Where the Clocks Chime Twice (1951)
- Guy Renton (1952)
- Island in the Sun (1955)
- Merchants of Wine : House of Gilbey (1957)
- The Sugar Islands: a collection of pieces written about the West Indies between 1928 and 1953 (1958)
- In Praise of Wine (1959)
- Fuel for the Flame (1960)
- My Place in the Bazaar (1961)
- The Early Years of Alec Waugh (1962)
- A Family of Islands: A History of the West Indies 1492 to 1898 (1964)
- Mule on the Minaret (1965)
- My Brother Evelyn and Other Portraits (1967)
- Foods of the World
Foods of the World was a popular series of 27 cookbooks published by Time-Life, beginning in 1968 and extending through the early 1970s, that provided a broad survey of many of the world's major cuisines...
- Wines and Spirits (1968)
- A Spy in the Family (1970)
- Bangkok: the story of a city (1970)
- A Fatal Gift (1973)
- A Year to Remember : a reminiscence of 1931 (1975)
- Married to a Spy (1976)
- The Best Wine Last : an autobiography through the years 1932 – 1969 (1978)
- The first duty of wine is to be red. The second is to be a Burgundy. In Praise of Wine
- I am prepared to believe that a dry martini slightly impairs the palate, but think what it does for the soul. In Praise of Wine
- Fathers and Sons: The Autobiography of a Family by Alexander Waugh
Alexander Waugh is an English writer, critic, composer, cartoonist, record producer and television presenter. He is most known for his biography of Paul Wittgenstein published in 2009....
- A New York Life of Friends and Others by Brendan Gill
Brendan Gill wrote for The New Yorker for more than 60 years. He also contributed film criticism for Film Comment and wrote a popular book about his time at the New Yorker magazine.-Biography:...
- The Loom of Youth, Project Gutenberg
Project Gutenberg is a volunteer effort to digitize and archive cultural works, to "encourage the creation and distribution of eBooks". Founded in 1971 by Michael S. Hart, it is the oldest digital library. Most of the items in its collection are the full texts of public domain books...
- Old Shirburnian Society website
- Sherborne School Archives – holds the manuscript of 'The Loom of Youth' together with related correspondence