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Evelyn Waugh is widely recognised as one of the great prose stylists of the 20th century and one of England’s greatest novelists. He put his faith in the generative and redemptive power of language, in particular the English language, and his works remain widely read today. His best-known books include his early satires Decline and Fall (1928) and A Handful of Dust (1934). In 1945, his magnum opus Brideshead Revisited was published. Written at the height of the war, the novel was, he admitted, of no ‘immediate propaganda value’. Instead, it was the story of a household, a family and a journey of religious faith – an elegy, in many ways, for a vanishing world and a testimony to a family he had fallen in love with a decade earlier.

D.J. Taylor is a British novelist and biographer. His biography, Orwell: The Life, won the Whitbread Biography Prize in 2003 and his most recent novel Derby Day (2011) was long listed for the Man Booker Prize in that year. David is also well known as a critic and reviewer.

Time Out London