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Alexander Waugh: Fathers and Sons

Alexander Waugh: Fathers and Sons

USA 2008, 473 pp., brochure,  12.39
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If there is a literary gene, then the Waugh family most certainly has it. In this most unusual biographical memoir, Alexander Waugh exposes the fraught dynamics of love and strife that have produced a succession of successful authors. The first, Arthur, a hopeless Victorian, broke the family tradition of medicine when he won a prize for poetry in 1888. His son, Evelyn, the author of a series of elegant and witty novels, was the disaffected black sheep who wallowed in drink, bisexual dissipation and modern cynicism. In contrast to Arthur's paternal overinvolvement, Evelyn tried hard to avoid his own children's company or, when contact was inescapable, to heap exquisitely refined derision on their heads. Evelyn fathered Auberon, who became one of England's cantankerous, provocative newspaper columnists. Auberon's son Alexander traces that have linked father to son in his family.
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