Alec Waugh

Alec Waugh

Author (1898 - 1981)

A charismatic rebel and part of the celebrated Waugh family, Alec Waugh is remembered in his own right for his many contributions as a novelist and travel writer. The Waughs were known for fathering generations of writers. Alec’s brother, the famous author Evelyn Waugh, wrote many acclaimed novels such as ‘Brideshead Revisited’ (1945), whilst Alec’s father was the nineteenth-century literary critic and publishing tycoon, Arthur Waugh.

Coming from a lineage formed by male success, Alec Waugh’s texts unknowingly opened up important discussions about toxic masculinity in the early twentieth century. Alec’s first novel the semi-autobiographical best-seller entitled ’The Loom of Youth’ (1917) was controversial for its ‘honest depictions of love among schoolboys’. Waugh’s portrait of life at a private school resulted in his expulsion from Sherborne School’s Alumni, and also in that of his father.

In his career, Waugh authored over fifty books. Spending most of his adult life abroad, his writings often focused on travel, from non-fiction works such as ‘The Sunlit Caribbean’ (1948) and the ‘The Sugar Islands’ (1949) to novels like ‘The Mule on the Minaret (1965), which investigates the activities of British counterintelligence in the Middle East. His most famous novel, ‘Island in the Sun’ (1956) is a testament to his fascination with tropical locations and explores the emotional and political problems between the races on the fictional island of Santa Maria. ‘Island in the Sun’ would go on to be condensed as part of a book-club for the magazine ‘Reader’s Digest’ and moreover became a blockbuster film boasting a cast that included James Mason, Joan Fontaine and Harry Belafonte.




The Loom of Youth (1917)

Resentment Poems (1918)

The Prisoners of Mainz (1919)

Pleasure (1921)

Public School Life: Boys, Parents, Masters (1922)

The Lonely Unicorn (1922)

Myself When Young : confessions (1923)

Card Castle (1924)

Kept : a story of post-war London (1925)

Love In These Days (1926)

On Doing What One Likes (1926)

Nor Many Waters (1928)

The Last Chukka : Stories of East and West (1928)

Three Score and Ten (1929)

“…’Sir,’ She Said” (1930)

The Coloured Countries (1930)

Hot Countries (1930)

Most Women (1931)

So Lovers Dream (1931)

Leap Before You Look (1932)

No Quarter (1932)

Thirteen Such Years (1932)

Wheels Within Wheels (1933)

The Balliols (1934)

Jill Somerset (1936)

Eight Short Stories (1937)

Going Their Own Ways (1938)

No Truce With Time (1941)

His Second War (1944)

The Sunlit Caribbean (1948)

These Would I Choose (1948)

Unclouded Summer (1948)

The Sugar Islands: a Caribbean travelogue (1949)

The Lipton Story (1950)

Where the Clocks Chime Twice (1951)

Guy Renton (1952)

Island in the Sun (1955)

Merchants of Wine: House of Gilbey (1957)

The Sugar Islands: a collection of pieces written about the West Indies between 1928 and 1953 (1958)

In Praise of Wine (1959)

Fuel for the Flame (1960)

My Place in the Bazaar (1961)

The Early Years of Alec Waugh (1962)

A Family of Islands: A History of the West Indies 1492 to 1898 (1964)

Mule on the Minaret (1965)

My Brother Evelyn and Other Portraits (1967)

Foods of the World: Wines and Spirits (1968)

A Spy in the Family (1970)

Bangkok: the story of a city (1970)

A Fatal Gift (1973)

A Year to Remember : a reminiscence of 1931 (1975)

Married to a Spy (1976)

The Best Wine Last : an autobiography through the years 1932–1969 (1978)