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Ten of the Best Quotes from Evelyn Waugh

By Andrea Diamond. Oct 28, 2016. 9:00 AM.

Topics: Literature

My sophomore year of college, I took an English class that delved into literature with central themes of faith, hope, and love. One of the first books we cracked open was Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder, a coming of age story that takes place in 1945 England. I had never read any of Waugh’s work before, but was immediately transfixed by his beautiful writing and unique perspective. The assigned reading was a rare breed of homeworkthe kind that gave me no desire to procrastinate, but rather left me struggling not to work ahead. I would forget about dinner, skip movies with friends, and hide in the comfort of my dorm room with beautiful words of Waugh. If you don’t don’t have any of his books at hand, here are ten of the best Evelyn Waugh quotes to get you started.

Evelyn_waugh_PD.jpeg1. “To know and love one other human being is the root of all wisdom.” - Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited

2. “Sometimes, I feel the past and the future pressing so hard on either side that there's no room for the present at all.” - Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited

3. “I should like to bury something precious in every place where I've been happy and then, when I'm old and ugly and miserable, I could come back and dig it up and remember.” - Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited

4. “If you asked me now who I am, the only answer I could give with any certainty would be my name. For the rest: my loves, my hates, down even to my deepest desires, I can no longer say whether these emotions are my own, or stolen from those I once so desperately wished to be.”- Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited

5. “There's only one great evil in the world today. Despair.”- Evelyn Waugh, Vile Bodies

6. “I know very few young people, but it seems to me that they are all possessed with an almost fatal hunger for permanence.”- Evelyn Waugh, Vile Bodies

7. “Sebastian is in love with his own childhood. That will make him very unhappy.” - Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited

diaries-of-evelyn-waugh-books-tell-you-why.jpg8. “The languor of Youth - how unique and quintessential it is! How quickly, how irrecoverably, lost!” - Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited

9. “I’ve always been bad. Probably I shall be bad again, punished again. But the worse I am, the more I need God. I can’t shut myself out from His mercy.”– Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited

10. “But I was in search of love in those days, and I went full of curiosity and the faint, unrecognized apprehension that here, at last, I should find that low door in the wall, which others, I knew, had found before me, which opened on an enclosed and enchanted garden, which was somewhere, not overlooked by any window, in the heart of that grey city.” - Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited

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Andrea Diamond
A graduate student in Wisconsin who enjoys traveling via plane, train, or pages of a book.


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