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The materials of which I am made: Evelyn Waugh and book production


Milthorpe, M, The materials of which I am made: Evelyn Waugh and book production, Script & Print, 41, (4) pp. 201-213. ISSN 1834-9013 (2017) [Refereed Article]


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Copyright 2017 BSANZ. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


In his autobiography 'A Little Learning' (1964), Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966) narrates his early initiation at the age of sixteen into the arts of manuscript illumination and calligraphy under the mentorship of Francis Crease. The charm of Crease's instruction, Waugh wrote, was chiefly due to the promise of " hot scones, Crown derby cups and conversation" - his pleasure, in other words, was material. Waugh's concomitant interest in the material aspects of fine books and book collecting has been discussed by scholars of his work including myself. Against the context of the book's increasing disposability in the twentieth century, facilitated by the mass production and mass marketing of the paperback and the dominance of periodical culture, Waugh built a library whose intention was solidity and permanence. Waugh collected fine books, particularly nineteenth-century volumes, and prized his books as "absolute possession[s]," tangible objects over which he could exercise order and control.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:literary studies, book history, 20th century British literature, Evelyn Waugh
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Literary studies
Research Field:British and Irish literature
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:Literature
UTAS Author:Milthorpe, M (Dr Naomi Milthorpe)
ID Code:130592
Year Published:2017
Deposited By:Office of the School of Humanities
Deposited On:2019-02-05
Last Modified:2019-03-15
Downloads:31 View Download Statistics

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