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Merton's Correspondence with:

Waugh, Evelyn Arthur St. John; Evelyn Arthur St. John Waugh; Evelyn Waugh

Waugh, Evelyn, 1903-1966  printer


Descriptive Summary

Record Group: Section A - Correspondence
Dates of materials: 1948-1991, bulk 1948-1952
Volume: 31 item(s); 46 pg(s)

Scope and Content

Evelyn Waugh offered Merton some frank criticism and suggestions for improvement of his writing style for some of his early books.


Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966), famous British author and satirist, was a convert to Catholicism in 1930 and served as a mentor to Merton in his early career as a writer.

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Please click here for general restrictions concerning Merton's correspondence.

Related Information and Links

See also published letters from Merton to Waugh in The Courage for Truth, pp. 3-19; and see also published letters from Waugh and Merton in Merton & Waugh: A Monk, A Crusty Old Man & The Seven Storey Mountain.

Other Finding Aids

If the person in correspondence with Merton has full text records in the Merton Center Digital Collections, there will be a numeric link to them below.

Series List

This Record Sub-Group is not divided into Series and is arranged chronologically.

Container List

Click icons for links: ✓="Published | Library Record", ✉="Scanned" | 🗷="Scanned, Viewable Only at Merton Center"

#DateFrom/ToFirst LinesPub ✓Notes
 y/m/dMerton Scan ✉ 
1. 1948/07/20 transcript  from Waugh, Evelyn / to Harcourt Brace Thank you for sending me the proofs of THE SEVEN STOREY MOUNTAIN which I have read with close «detailed view»
2. 1948/08/02 TLS[x] from Merton You will be surprised to get this but not, I hope, annoyed. Father Abbot gave me permission [incorrectly dated "August 12, 1948" in Merton & Waugh] «detailed view»
3. 1948/08/13 transcript to Merton Thank you for your letter of August 2nd. As I wrote to your publishers I greatly admired your book [see carbon of this letter in the "Giroux, Robert" file] «detailed view»
4. 1948/09/03 (#01) TLS[x] from Merton I cannot tell you how truly happy I am with your letter and the book you sent. Both of them have «detailed view»
5. 1948/09/03 (#02) transcript to Billings, John Shaw Thank you for your letter of Aug: 25th. I had already sent you a note under the false impression [photocopied transcript from The Letters of Evelyn Waugh - from Waugh to John Shaw Billings with a paragraph referring to Merton and to The Seven Storey Mountain (or Elected Silence as it would be published in England)] «detailed view»
6. 1948/09/22 HLS[x] from Merton I am very glad you went ahead with the editing of the Seven Storey Molehill. Since you have «detailed view»
7. 1949/01/10 transcript to Mitford, Nancy Your letter of 4th Jan to hand. I notice it was posted at Marlborough, Wilts. The socialist [photocopied transcript from The Letters of Evelyn Waugh - from Waugh to Nancy Mitford with a paragraph asking Mitford to send to Merton a copy of Ambrose Gardeil's La structure de l'ame et L'expérience Mystique] «detailed view»
8. 1949/02/19 TLS[x] from Merton As far as I can judge, you must be back in America at the moment, finishing your articles for LIFE. «detailed view»
9. 1949/05/12 TLS[x] from Merton Thank you very much for your last letter, written before you left New York. Since then a volume «detailed view»
10. 1949/05/27 transcript to Merton First, my joy for you on your ordination. Your letter came just in time to engage my feeble prayers Transcript copy from the online version of the Evelyn Waugh Newsletter, Vol. 3, No. 1 (1969), ‹›, which also appears in Merton & Waugh. «detailed view»
11. 1949/07/30 TLS[x] from Merton Thank you for your letter of May 27th. I haven't seen any sign of the Ronald Knox book which you «detailed view»
12. 1949/08/28 transcript to Merton The Waters of Siloe arrived this morning. A beautifully made book. I am proud to see Transcript copy from the online version of the Evelyn Waugh Newsletter, Vol. 3, No. 1 (1969), ‹›, which also appears in Merton & Waugh. «detailed view»
13. 1949/08/29 transcript to Merton I have now read The Waters of Siloe and must write to repeat my thanks for the great honour [photocopied transcript from The Letters of Evelyn Waugh, which also appears in Merton & Waugh] «detailed view»
14. 1949/08/30 transcript to Merton …It is extraordinarily generous of you to take my editing of Waters of Siloe in such good Transcript copy from the online version of the Evelyn Waugh Newsletter, Vol. 3, No. 1 (1969), ‹›. «detailed view»
15. 1949/09/17 TLS[x] from Merton Thank you very much for your two letters and your very valuable advice on the two books, «detailed view»
16. 1949/10/15 TALS[x] from Merton You will be amused to hear that your article of the American Epoch in the Catholic Church is «detailed view»
17. 1950/01/28 TLS[x] from Merton It is some time since I have given an account of myself. Burns sent a copy of Fowler and I am very «detailed view»
18. 1950/08/12 TLS[x] from Merton Hollis and Carter have just sent me Waters of Silence, with your kind foreword and your «detailed view»
19. 1950/08/30 transcript to Merton Of course you have never said anything that remotely "offended" me. How could you think so? «detailed view»
20. 1950/09/11 TALS[x] from Merton The Stromboli note-paper literally overwhelmed me. Iam [sic] answering you at once to send my «detailed view»
21. 1950/12/15 TLS[x] from Merton This letter has two purposes: to thank you for Helena and to wish you a holy Christmas-- «detailed view»
22. 1951/01/no? HPCS to Merton Thank you vy [sic] much for your letter. Very sorry to hear of your illness. Does your library [unknown date / possibly a reply to Merton's letter of December 15, 1950 - maybe January 1951 in context of books publication and other letters] Ronald Knox's book, Enthusiasm: a chapter in the history of religion, with special reference to the XVII and XVIII centuries] «detailed view»
23. 1951/09/15? transcript  from Waugh, Evelyn to "AF" Very many thanks for THE ASCENT TO TRUTH which reached me today, September 15th. «detailed view»
24. 1951/12/27? transcript to Merton I have taken an unconscionable time in thanking you for present of The Ascent to Truth. Transcript copy from the online version of the Evelyn Waugh Newsletter, Vol. 3, No. 1 (1969), ‹›, which also appears in Merton & Waugh. «detailed view»
25. 1952/02/25 TLS[x] from Merton Many thanks for your very kind letter and for Enthusiasm. I entirely agree with your comment «detailed view»
26. 1973/11/30 TL[c] from Center to Evelyn Waugh Estate Mr. Victor Kramer at Georgia State University has requested permission to look at Mr. Evelyn Waugh's permission to view Waugh's correspondence «detailed view»
27. 1991/01/07 TLS[x]  from Giroux, Robert / to Christine Bochen I've just found a copy of a marvelous Evelyn Waugh letter to Thomas Merton, which I enclose. [from Robert Giroux, Merton's friend and publisher from Farrar, Straus & Giroux, to Christine Bochen of Nazareth College in Rochester, New York] «detailed view»
28. undated/no/no (#01) HNS[x] from Merton +for Evelyn Waugh [-] in Caritate Xti [-] fr. M. Louis Merton O.C.R. [inscription in Figures of an Apocalypse] «detailed view»
29. undated/no/no (#02) HNS[x] from Merton As an expression of gratitude and I might even say veneration, for the best writer of English prose [inscription in The Waters of Siloe] «detailed view»
30. undated/no/no (#03) HNS[x] from Merton to Evelyn Waugh - in Corde Christi - fr m Louis O.C.R. [inscription in Seeds of Contemplation] «detailed view»
31. undated/no/no (#04) HNS[x] from Merton to Evelyn Waugh with my best wishes and prayers in Christo Domino [-] f. m. Louis Merton, O.C.S.O. [inscription in The Ascent to Truth] «detailed view»

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