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New Evelyn Waugh website will let public contribute to Complete Works project

Date: 16/06/2014

The public will have the chance to gain access to huge range of resources on the acclaimed author as part of project to publish his complete works. Evelyn Waugh has entertained readers for generations- and now book lovers will be able to find out more about the author than ever before.

The Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh project is launching a new website which will host a huge range of resources on the author- and act as a hub for other important online materials.

The website will accompany The Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh project- a scholarly edition which seeks to publish every piece of writing or art work by Waugh. The researchers hope that the public elements of the website will prove to be an indispensible, lasting resource for anyone interested in researching Waugh- and that it will also open channels allowing the public to contribute to the academic project.

The website will give a full overview of the Complete Works project, including summaries of all the volumes it will publish and a short biography of Evelyn Waugh. It will also include online collections of reviews, links to archive catalogues, and publications from the Evelyn Waugh Society. The researchers are also hoping to make their updated, digitised Evelyn Waugh bibliography available to the public soon. The full programme of public events relating to the Complete Works project- including school study days, conferences and book club sessions being held in the city- will also be posted.

The website will host an open forum in which users can discuss Evelyn Waugh and his work. Crucially, it will provide a platform for the public to come forward with any lost pieces of writing of Waugh's which could feed through to the edition.

The researchers are, for instance, appealing for the public's help with identifying the writers of letters or notes sent to Waugh which do not contain the full name of the writer, and in tracking down people referred to in Waugh's writings- such as pupils he taught while working as a schoolmaster.

Anyone who suspects their grandfather was 'Bill' or 'Harry' referred to will be able to come forward and contact the research team directly via the site.

The 42-volume Complete Works project has been funded by the AHRC, and will be published by Oxford University Press between 2016 and 2022.

It aims to include all of Waugh's novels, short stories, biographies, travel writing and art work from his birth in 1903 to his death in 1966.

The team also hope to publish all of his letters- the vast majority of which have never been seen by the public.

Alexander Waugh, Evelyn Waugh's grandson and Senior Visiting Fellow of the University, is the General Editor of the edition, with Professor Martin Stannard and Professor David Bradshaw of Oxford acting as Co-Executive Editors.

Professor Stannard puts Waugh's lasting appeal down to his humour: Waugh is the pre-eminent comic writer of his generation. A vividly controversial character, he is now certain to be remembered as one of the great novelists of the twentieth century.

Dr Barbara Cooke, the project's Research Associate, is leading work on the website. Dr Cooke says: Evelyn Waugh has unique mix of accessibility and depth.

His books are not difficult to read and they are not long. Sometimes they can seem deceptively simple. But once you start discussing them, you realise how complex they are - and that's intriguing.

One of the main aims of the project is to develop a lasting online platform for Evelyn Waugh research. We shall, for instance, be posting the complete back catalogue of the Evelyn Waugh Newsletter, published by the Evelyn Waugh Society, three times a year. This is the first time that the whole back catalogue will be accessible online, and we are delighted to be making that and other resources available to everyone.

Waugh materials are becoming increasingly available online, and we are in a good position here at Leicester to keep track of what's out there and to ensure that others know about the new finds, too.

Readers can find the website for themselves.

Notes to editors

For more information, please contact Dr Barbara Cooke on bc144@le.ac.uk or at 0116 229 7568.

For further press information please contact: Danielle Moore-Chick (AHRC) on 01793 41 6021 or d.moore-chick@ahrc.ac.uk

  • The Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funds world-class, independent researchers in a wide range of subjects: ancient history, modern dance, archaeology, digital content, philosophy, English literature, design, the creative and performing arts, and much more. This financial year the AHRC will spend approximately £98m to fund research and postgraduate training in collaboration with a number of partners. The quality and range of research supported by this investment of public funds not only provides social and cultural benefits but also contributes to the economic success of the UK. www.ahrc.ac.uk


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