Mark Amory

The bad boys of the Hypocrites Club

The witty, drunken, flamboyant aesthetes of 1920s Oxford included Harold Acton, Evelyn Waugh, Henry Yorke, Claud Cockburn and Robert Byron

Henry Yorke in the 1920s. Credit: Alamy

Members of the Hypocrites Club were Oxford undergraduates, and those with whom David Fleming’s book is chiefly concerned were born between 1903-5. It had originally been a respectable club, founded in 1921, its two most mentioned members being L.P. Hartley, the novelist, and David Cecil, the biographer and historian. But all that changed when Harold Acton arrived, closely followed by many of his fellow Etonians.

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