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Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh (October 28, 1903 â€“ April 10, 1966) was an English writer, best known for such satirical and darkly humorous novels as Decline and Fall, Vile Bodies, Scoop, A Handful of Dust, and The Loved One, as well as for more serious works, such as Brideshead Revisited and the Sword of Honour trilogy, that are influenced by his own conservative and Catholic outlook. Many of Waugh's novels depict the British aristocracy and high society, which he savagely satirizes but to which he was also strongly attracted. In addition, he wrote short stories, three biographies, and the first volume of an unfinished autobiography. Waugh's works were very successful with the reading public and he was widely admired by critics as a humorist and prose stylist, but his later, more overtly religious works have attracted much controversy. In an unpublished review of Brideshead Revisited, George Orwell declared that Waugh was "about as good a novelist as one can be while holding untenable opinions." Conservative commentator William F. Buckley, Jr. found in Waugh "the greatest English novelist of the century."
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