first edition of the author's first book, the publisher alastair graham's own copy, later presented by him to the editor of Waugh's diaries Michael Davie, [one of 50 copies], 8vo, original cloth-backed boards, without errata slip, minor spotting to first few leaves, boards slightly soiled, extremities bumped, very slight wear to spine
[together with:] an autograph note signed by Waugh, [to Alastair Graham], expressing his hope that his "pilgrimage to Athens may come off", although he is "very broke as always", 1 page, small 4to, [possibly autumn 1926], light browning to edges
Alastair Graham; given by him to Michael Davie at New Quay, Cardiganshire, on 5 May 1975 (pencil note on front pastedown)
Alastair Graham, appearing in Waugh's autobiography under the name Hamish Lennox, is described as "the friend of my heart": "...for two or three years [in Oxford] we were inseparable or, if separated, in almost daily communication...Hamish had no repugnance to the bottle and we drank deep together...but there were always hints of the spirit that in later years has made him a recluse..." (E. Waugh, A Little Learning, 1964, p.192). Graham left Oxford to study architecture and to travel, and on his return to England in July 1926 acquired a printing press. Waugh wrote his essay 'The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood' at Graham's request; it was published later that year as waugh's first book. Graham then left for Athens, where for some years he was employed as an honorary attaché to the British Legation. Waugh went on his "pilgrimage" to Athens to visit his friend in the winter of 1926/7: "...Athens did little to relieve his depression. It was not the antique curiosity he had hoped for but brashly cosmopolitan..." (Stannard, p.130).
According to both Stannard and Christopher Sykes, the character of Sebastian Flyte in Brideshead Revisited was drawn heavily from his friendship with Graham.
After some years as a diplomat, Graham became a recluse in Wales. The present volume was in his possession until he gave it to Michael Davie, who in 1975, while working on his edition of Waugh's diaries, visited Graham at New Quay in Cardiganshire.
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