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Evelyn Waugh - Leonard Russell Collection

Identifier: GTM-GAMMS144

Scope and Contents

The Waugh-Russell Collection consists of a series of postcards and letters from Waugh to Leonard Russell (1906-1974), assistant director and literary editor of the Sunday Times since 1944. The collection describes their business relationship between 1952 and 1965, when Waugh wrote literary reviews and articles for the paper. In turn, Russell published selections of Waugh's books. As a case in point, the collection includes a typed manuscript (carbon) and the corrected proofs of four installments of Waugh's A Little Learning (1964), selected by Russell for the Sunday Times. The Waugh-Russell collection also includes documents regarding the 1956-1957 legal battle between Waugh and Nancy Spain. In 1956, Spain published an article that Waugh considered defamatory. Waugh filed suit against Spain, and Russell was drawn to testify on behalf of the defendants. The collection contains Russell's statement for the occasion. Finally, the collection also includes nine photographs of Waugh at different stages of his life. The material is organized chronologically in one box of .25 linear feet, and arranged in twenty-three folders.

Extent: .25 Date span: 1952-1965


  • 1952 - 1965

Collection-level Access Restrictions

Most manuscripts collections at the Georgetown University Booth Family Center for Special Collections are open to researchers; however, restrictions may apply to some collections. Collections stored off site require a minimum of three days for retrieval. For use of all manuscripts collections, researchers are advised to contact the Booth Family Center for Special Collections in advance of any visit.

Biographical / Historical

Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966), the noted British novelist and journalist, began his literary career in 1928 with the publication of his first novel Decline and Fall. His later novels include such masterpeces as Brideshead Revisited (1945), Men at Arms (1952), and The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold (1957). His output also includes a considerable body of travel literature such as Tourist in Africa (1960), and Remote People (1932). During his lifetime, Waugh's figure was surrounded by controversy. His life had the same elements of satire and intellectual brilliance that can be found in his novels. He was charitable and yet stubborn; deeply religious and yet arrogant. Despite the fact that he was at times, difficult to deal with, he was friends with many other prominent figures of his times, including Graham Greene, Nancy Mitford and Ian Fleming. Waugh was first married in 1928, to Evelyn Gardner. The marriage was annulled and in 1937, he wed Laura Herbert, with whom he had six children. On April 10th, 1966 Waugh died of a heart attack in his house at Combe Florey.

Leonard Russell (1906-1974) was best known as the literary editor of "The Sunday Times." Born in London, England in 1906, he pursued a career as an editor. Early on, he worked as an editor for "The Daily Telegraph." In 1933, Russell joined "The Sunday Times," and in 1945, he was promited its literary editor. He worked there though 1954. Russell published "The Pearl of Days," an unofficial history of "The Sunday Times." He married film critic Dilys Powell in 1943. Leonard Russell died in 1974.

[Source: Biographical Sketch from finding aid to Leonard Russell Letters at the Harry Ransome Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin].


0.25 Linear Feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



Provenance: Stanley Noble Bookseller, 1983

Related Materials

More information on Leonard Russell can be found at the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas, Austin, which holds another collection of his letters. This includes a further letter between himself and Evelyn Waugh.

Evelyn Waugh - Leonard Russell Collection
Myriam Alvarez-Marshall
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Repository Details

Part of the Georgetown University Manuscripts Repository

Lauinger Library, 5th Floor
37th and O Streets, N.W.
Washington DC 20057