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Thursday, 18 January, 2001, 17:42 GMT
Auberon Waugh: Send your tributes

Auberon Waugh, the writer, journalist and satirist, has died suddenly in his sleep, aged 61.

He had a heart condition and passed away on Tuesday night at his home in Somerset, his wife Lady Teresa Waugh said.

The son of Evelyn Waugh, he was a noted satirical columnist at the Daily Telegraph and Sunday Telegraph, writing on political and social matters, as well as penning a regular chess column.

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


Your reaction


Little is known of his kindness

Sabina Ahmed, Somerset.UK
Everyone knows Auberon Waugh as the great satirist and acid-tongued critic of political correctness. But little is known of his kindness. A few years ago when my son was an undergraduate at Oxford, he was also writing for the university magazine and wanted to do an interview with Mr Waugh as he lived so close to us in Taunton. I knew some one who once said they knew Waugh, I asked this friend if Waugh would consider such a request. The next thing was a phone call from his secretary, and an appointment for my son, to fit with university term. On meeting, my son reported, he was most courteous and charming and gave a very lengthy interview. A very kind and considerate gesture from a great man, which left a big impression on a young man. We all are very sad.
Sabina Ahmed, Somerset.Uk

I am one of the socialists that Auberon Waugh was known to dislike so much. Nonetheless he never failed to make me laugh or maybe look at things from a different angle. I always turned straight to his column in any paper he wrote for and gave up buying the Oldie for a while after he stopped writing for it. He was a man who helped to measure my Englishness and as such I will miss him more than I can say.
Anthony E Beal, United Kingdom


I only met father and son once and it was a memorable night

Michael De Ruyter, UK
I only met father and son once and it was a memorable night, full of pithy humour and biting wit. Waugh senior sporting a silver ear trumpet into which I would utter something appropriate. Auberon tenderly helping Evelyn. He will be missed for the irreverence he showed towards all thing officious and pompous.
Michael De Ruyter, UK

Two points in addition to those already made. Waugh's Literary Review was quite an achievement. Its contributor list is a veritable who's who of interesting and learned contemporaries. Not bad for a minority publication. And Waugh was never - unlike many of the conservatively inclined - a little Englander but rather a cultural European. He will be greatly missed.
Ian Walsh, Wiesbaden, Germany

I suppose you could say Auberon Waugh was against political correctness, but then again, who isn't? Rather, he was a contrary, cranky individualist and this is why he was so entertaining. I don't think he wrote what he felt so much as he wrote what he knew would annoy the greatest number of people for the greatest length of time.
Duncan Fine, Australia

Hallo Nat, I'm really sorry to hear about your dad - hope you and you family are well.
Emma Biggins, Scotland

A great warrior in the battle against the dictatorship of political correctness. I will miss him.
Andrew Willis, Canada

The funniest man of his generation; he will be sorely missed by his devotees. Should have been made a Papal Knight for his crusade against a declining Catholic Church.
Joseph Johnston, UK

As a Northern, working class non-smoking teetotaller I should have despised him. As it was I loved him and it is so awful to realise that there will be no more Way of the World, and tomorrow's obituaries will include Auberon Waugh.
Peter Johnson, England


A scourge of the pompous and a bringer of laughter

David Brackenbury, UK
A scourge of the pompous and a bringer of laughter. Auberon Waugh had small time for those who aspired to rule us all, (on all sides of the political spectrum!) and no time at all for the politically correct. It is ironic that his death was announced on the day that Parliament debates the banning of hunting. He was a gentleman first and last and an immensely sympathetic judge of the foibles and frailties of the human character.
David Brackenbury, UK

It is terribly sad that Auberon Waugh should have died at so relatively early an age, even for those of us who knew him only through his writing - for it means that one of the few delights of rail travel in England, viz., reading Mr Waugh's "Way of the World" column, is lost to us forever. His complete disregard of conventional political and cultural pieties - a disregard more complete, because less hysterical and more contemptuous, than that of almost anyone else - was tremendously refreshing, and his dedicated stand against official bossiness and interference in our lives an admirable continuation of the British liberal and conservative traditions, in an age when their nominal champions seem to have forgotten what they were about. His advocacy of bourgeois values was a much-needed corrective to the fashionable proletarian proselytising of most of the media. Few journalists who wrote so much can have written so readably so often. His death leaves an irreplaceable gap in public life!
Hadrian Wise, United Kingdom

Nat, I'm very sorry to hear about your dad's death. His wit and character lives on in you though and he'll be well remembered.
Will Cave, Portugal

He got under my skin. Under the reactionary mask lay ... a reactionary. He was very witty and saw through posers of all kinds, but he could be very irksome too in that unique British class-ridden way. Coming from under his father's shadow was quite an achievement, especially after stumbling as a novelist. He certainly made the Literary Review a very worthwhile read, despite using several fellow reactionaries like Paul Johnson to help with reviews that were inadvertently hilarious. It's nonetheless sad that like his father he should go so early in life.
Peter Tallon, Geneva, Switzerland

I greatly admire Auberon Waugh's autobiography, Will This Do? Its delightfully easy, but erudite, prose reveals a man of sensitivity and kindness blessed with the knowledge of how to live well and happily. If he appeared to be content with a lower literary profile than his father (a hard act to follow, although in my view Will This Do? surpasses Waugh senior's own autobiography) it was perhaps because he felt he had nothing to prove and was his own man. He will be missed. The Daily Telegraph will certainly never be the same.
Richard Cheeseman, UK

A great writer and one of the great prickers of pomposity of his time. His Diary in Private Eye remains a classic piece of satire, and his ravings at bureaucracy, philistinism and idiocy in the Way of the World column were masterpieces. He will be sadly missed, most of all by his friends and family to whom he was devoted.
Dave, UK


Mr Waugh's death leaves a gaping hole in literary life

Peter Lucey, UK
Mr Waugh's death leaves a gaping hole in literary life. Like his father, he was a master of English prose. I can feel a thrill at his best writing. His political incorrectness is overdone. Bron was less willing than some to ignore the problems of socialism. He had no political belief system, and would not ignore Communist crimes. But he had a distinct dislike of politics and politicians in general, and was no "right-winger". Above all he was a professional writer: he supported a family of five on his writing; he was brave enough to leave a job if his employers curtailed his freedom; and he leaves us pining for more. I knew Bron through the Poetry Prize; I will miss him.
Peter Lucey, UK

The man was a genius, sadly a misunderstood one by those unfortunates who took him too literally. Mr Waugh was a rarity, a columnist who combined a genuine wit, insight, intelligence and a warmth that shone through. But above all, he made us laugh loud, and laugh long. We are the poorer for his loss.
Chris Rowe, England

I always have read Mr Waugh's pieces in the Daily Telegraph with great delight. So outrageous and rude but always with an underlying kernel of truth. The scourge of the politically correct!
Paul Dee, USA

Mr. Auberon Waugh was undoubtedly the best well-known journalist of his time. He was an extremely courageous scribe who essentially wrote what he felt from the bottom of his heart. An excellent journalist to the core, like many in the profession, he was a pleasure loving man and enjoyed smoking and wine.
Albert Devakaram, India

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See also:

17 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Auberon Waugh dies
17 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Auberon Waugh: Biting wit
17 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Literary world saddened at Waugh's death


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