photocopy

Angus Wilson and Evelyn Waugh – the tweed connection

Found - this enigmatic pair of pictures in a 1980s Japanese book on English literature. The book was in a box of foreign language books from the estate  of the novelist Angus Wilson. The inscription in Japanese is probably to him from an academic that he had met on one of his lecture tours to Japan in the 1960s. He had befriended Yukio Mishima while there and the great samurai stayed with him at his Suffolk cottage on a trip to England.

The notable item in the photo is that Evelyn Waugh and Angus Wilson appear to be wearing the same brand of tweed...it is possible that at the time in Japan it was assumed that all English novelists wore nothing but tweed..The connection between the two men,however, is slightly  deeper. Waugh was a great admirer of Wilson, especially his novel The Old Men at the Zoo which he vigorously defended in a long letter from his country pile Combe Florey to The Spectator in 1961, after it was attacked by their critic John Mortimer. Which novelist wore the tweed first is (so far) unknown.

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4 thoughts on “Angus Wilson and Evelyn Waugh – the tweed connection

  1. Anonymous

    I don't know about Japanese stereotypes concerning British people, but a large number of Americans believe that all Brits speak with an Oxbridge accent, have tea and scones every afternoon, and wear tweed and Wellies when it rains. A friend's mother, ever fond of Brideshead-esque television programs available on Netflix, stumbled upon "Shameless" when it was suggested to her by the site's algorithm. "Those Australians!," she lamented after watching half of the first episode. She refused to believe that the show in any way portrayed British people.

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