Monday, August 3, 2015


"John Heygate -- later to achieve notoriety as the man who eloped with Evelyn Waugh's first wife ..."
Orwell, by D.J. Taylor

Ah yes, and, for a brief while, we all thought
A new road to fame had shined suddenly open!
Jasper Mendez-Pinto got decent press coverage
When he eloped with Evelyn Waugh's second wife
But Hector Ffinch III got barely a mention
For eloping with the third, despite his having died
At least three years before their flight.
It is thought that Evelyn Waugh's fifth and sixth wives
Eloped with each other; so little attention was paid
That this is uncertain. In desperation, Evelyn Waugh
Eloped with his seventh wife. This was dismissed
As a mere publicity stunt. After that, of course,
Things went downhill. When Evelyn Waugh's twelfth wife
Tried eloping some while before they were married,
The Rules Committee made her go back and run off properly.
There is reason to believe that Evelyn Waugh's fifteenth wife
Was spurious, his sixteenth a typographical error
And his eighteenth fashioned mostly of bakelite.
Closure came with Evelyn Waugh's twenty second wife
Who was, of course, John Heygate. As far as I know
The match was a happy one.

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