Those of us who have been cashing in on the centenary of Evelyn Waugh’s birth, which falls on 28 October, have had a good year. Stephen Fry has won acclaim for his direction of the film based on Waugh’s Vile Bodies, renamed — on orders from the marketing men, I guess — Bright Young Things. Michael Johnston has attracted attention by writing an unauthorised sequel to Brideshead Revisited, which at the behest of the Waugh estate will be available only on the Internet.
My own account of adventures with Waugh in Abyssinia during Mussolini’s war in 1935 has sold more copies than I would expect any book of mine to sell. Nicholas Rankin, who has written a book about George Steer, the underrated correspondent of the Times in Abyssinia with us, and later the first to report the bombing of Guernica in the Spanish Civil War, has had a success.