Helena

Haslam, Sara ed. (2020). Helena. The Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh, 11. UK: Oxford University Press.

Abstract

Set in the 4th century AD, and Waugh’s only historical novel, Helena is the story of the mother of Emperor Constantine and her reputed discovery of the ‘True Cross’. Waugh described Helena as his favourite among his works – in a Face to Face interview with John Freeman for the BBC in 1960, for example. His fictional account of Helena’s widely-celebrated life and pilgrimage is the product of detailed historical research, and it contributes to our understanding of Waugh’s views of the Church, both ancient and modern. Uniquely, however, Helena also demonstrates Waugh’s interest in domestic politics set against a backdrop of significant historical acts.

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