COVID-19: All CRRL branches are closed until further notice. Late fees will not accrue, and holds will not expire. Book drops are closed. Please keep all materials. We are still issuing new library cards. Customer Service staff are available Mon-Fri, 9-5. Research staff are available Mon-Sat, 9-5, Sun 1-5.
Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh, two of the twentieth century's most amusing and gifted writers, matched wits and exchanged insults in more than five hundred letters, a continuous irreverent dialogue that stretched for twenty-two years. Their delicious correspondence, much of it never published before (for fear of speaking ill of the living), provides colorful glimpses of both lives, testifies to their enduring but thorny friendship, and evokes the literary and social circles of London and Paris at midcentury. In their letters they sharpened their wits at the expense of friends and enemies alike, but with particular relish they dissected their friends, who included Harold Acton, Graham Greene, the Sitwells, Duff and Diana Cooper, Randolph Churchill, and their favorite butt, Cyril Connolly. Waugh's pessimistic brand of Roman Catholicism clashed with Mitford's cheerful iconoclasms; her francophilia only fueled her friend's dislike of all things French. He accused her of bad grammar and worse theology; she nailed him with snobbery and anti-Semitism.