Waugh Wednesday – does a racist word need to be changed in the modern age

Well the latest Waugh story I read Multa Pencunia ,another of Waugh’s junior stories written when he was 9 ,a story about sir Alfred that had brought a unusual book with the same title as the story ,that disappears now when the book is discovered to have Gone missing Tom sir Alfred’s son says –

Jumping Golliwogs  cried Tom 

Now I was taken aback as Golliwogs a word that hasn’t been in usage in Britain since the mid seventies ,it was the name of a black rag doll in the 1800’s ,also was on a famous brand of Jam in the uk until the 1980’s when a campaign got it removed from the jar .I dislike this word it is such a derogatory term and needs putting in a dictionary of words never to be used and thrown in a deep hole so a question should it be changed ? to say golly gosh  .I can partly forgive Waugh as it was used more in his times ,but would he want it used now or would he have edited it and change it ? do we accept a writer using racist words due to their time of writing or take a sharp breath and  change these words ? .I don’t know but what is your view ?

Waugh Wednesday – Fidon’s confetion

Date published -1910 -1914

Age of waugh -7-11

Length – 5 pages

This is another of the very young Waugh’s story this is about Ralfe the eldest son of Gerald Cantonville ,he is playing cards last night when his fellow player kills his father  ,he is arrested but is saved a the trial by Tom his younger brother as the knife used was Ralfe  .At the last-minute as it was the fidon of the title that Killed Fidon in revenge .The story has A moral feel to it about telling the truth .This would fit with Waugh’s later conversion to Catholicism in his late twenties .he was at school at Heath mount Prep school at the time he wrote this piece .As with last week’s work hard to say much ,there are spelling errors but for a boy of Waugh age, when he wrote this are  normal for a seven-year old .I do wonder if these first two stories thou interesting on one level where ever really needed to be published .

Midnight boomed from the old clock tower and still the two men played on .Ralfe the eldest son of Gerald Cantonville had got in debt to villainous money lender and in desperation had taken to Gambling in a great effort to “raise the wind” all in vain on he played and still Baycraw won  .

The opening of Fidon’s confetion  .

Would you like your pre teen stories published ?

Is the a moral feel to Waugh’s work?

The curse of the horse race – to begin at the beginning

Date of story -1910

Age of waugh – 7

Well it seems hard to say much on a seven year olds story ,this is a short cautionary tale on the errors of betting on a horse ,of Tom and Rupert ,a puliesman (policeman ) as the young Waugh put it is killed .Rupert goes on the run after a bet goes wrong and he kills a policeman later Tom finds him in the Inn hiding and takes him to the police .

quote –

chap 11-

the next moring Tom took his seat in the grant stand while Rupert mounted sally (which was his horse) with the others to wate for the pistol shot which would anounse the start .

the race was soon over and Rupery had lost .What was he to do could he do the deed ? yes I’ll kill him in the night ,he thought .

The spelling are Waugh aged 7 -but that humour is there a bit mounted sally bit .

So does this live upto the old saying by Jesuit priest” show me the boy I’ll show you the man ”

I think it does ,but we ll find out more over next few weeks as I work through the section in Everyman collection called Juvenilia which covers his first tentive steps in the writing world .

Waugh Wednesday

Last week in early hours of morning I was awake so tuned in to the revamped radio Four Extra the new name for radio seven .To hear they were going to broadcast two short stories by Evelyn Waugh my ears pricked up always half aware of short stories the two I heard were wonderful .So I checked next day and found a couple of editions of his complete short stories  on Amazon a penguin and Everyman Library one .I loved Everyman books ,but unable to get on at moment ,so I ve borrowed the libraries edition for now ,until I can buy it .But this has led to the creation of Waugh Wednesday .I use love my good friend robs days  on one writer and have been trying to find a worthy subject and I loved the novels of Waugh I love so have chosen wednesday from now on for next year or so for all thing Waugh ,There are 38 pieces in the collection ,I ve two novels also a number of films adapted from his books .Plus the wonderful Brideshead Revisited TV series to talk about and discuss.


I love the everyman cover.can’t wait to get a copy of book for myself

What Waugh have you read ?

What  is your favourite ?


March 2023


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