Second Son: 1903–24

  • David Wykes
Part of the Literary Lives book series (LL)


His full name was Arthur Evelyn St John Waugh. Since Arthur was his father’s name and St John he thought comically pretentious, Evelyn — ‘a whim of my mother’s’ — he was called. He disliked the name and it repeatedly involved him in mistakes of gender identity, but it was characteristic of him to play the hand he had been dealt, to make the world accept that Evelyn was his name. His birth in Hampstead occurred at number 11, Hillfield Road, West Hampstead, a Victorian terraced house now divided into flats and awaiting its blue plaque. When he was four, his parents had built for them a villa, ‘Underhill’, in the then village of North End, Hampstead, ‘a very ordinary little suburban villa’, his father accurately called it, though he much annoyed his younger son by his sentimental pride in the house. Evelyn thought it hideous and disadvantageously located, since the Post Office changed its address from Hampstead to the far less chic Golders Green, a change that apparently caused Evelyn sometimes to take long walks to get the superior Hampstead postmark on his letters.


Dust Assure Gall Smoke Straw 


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Copyright information

© David Wykes 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Wykes
    • 1
  1. 1.Dartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA

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