Kiss Me, Chudleigh
By William Cook
Auberon Waugh was a philosopher - savage, eccentric, but a philosopher nonetheless. More than any writer of his era, Auberon Waugh had a genius for dividing his readers, into the delighted and the infuriated, and he retains the ability to start a squabble, even from beyond the grave. Kiss Me, Chudleigh is a collection of Waugh's best writing. It is also a compact biography. It consists of excerpts from the things he wrote, drawn from every stage of his career, from his salad days on the Catholic Herald to his swansong on the Literary Review. Probably the most prolific journalist of his generation (and surely the wittiest) he wrote copiously for publications as diverse as the New Statesman and The Daily Telegraph. He wrote a political column for The Spectator and a country column in the Evening Standard, a wine column, a medical column and heaps of entertaining travel pieces. Arranged both chronologically and thematically, marrying his main preoccupations with the main phases of his life: school (where he received a record number of beatings); university (he came down from Oxford after one year, without a degree); Fleet Street (where he cut his teeth writing captions for the Sunday Mirror's bathing beauties); France (where he lived while writing his second novel, and returned regularly throughout his life); the House of Commons (where he won his spurs as a political correspondent); Grub Street (where he found his comic voice, writing for Private Eye); Somerset (where he made his home) and Abroad (from war reporting in Biafra to travel writing in Bangkok).