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The Evelyn Waugh Lecture

Evelyn Waugh Lecture & Dinner

This occasion was set up in 2008 as a means of thanking all members of the Lancing Foundation and the 1848 Society for their loyalty and generosity to the College. Sir David Hare was the guest speaker in the inaugural year; he spoke movingly about his school days at Lancing and the inspiration he received from a number of masters which ultimately led to his successful career today.

David’s lecture is available to download and read here (PDF, 171KB)


The guest speaker at the 2017 Evelyn Waugh lecture was Sir Alan Moses, Chairman of the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO) and a former Lord Justice of Appeal. Sir Alan joked at the beginning of his talk that it should be all too obvious that he would focus on Waugh’s Scoop. Published in 1938, it was Waugh’s personal revenge on journalists, concealing his envy of their success and his own failure when sent to Abyssinia by the Daily Mail. According to Sir Alan, Scoop lies at the heart of the conundrum with which IPSO has to grapple daily: the conflict between reality and the public’s endless appetite for a good story. Getting in first with the news and giving the public what it wants, the two dominating principles of Fleet Street are not always reconcilable but Waugh, more than anyone, understood how fake news becomes the news. In an article in the New Statesman in 1943 he wrote, ‘The real enemies of society are sitting snug behind typewriters and microphones pursuing their work of destruction and popular applause.’

Sir Alan admitted that regulating freedom of expression runs the risk of denying the very freedom it seeks to preserve but that a decline in the quality of media threatens the democratic process itself. He agreed that Waugh would have understood this danger, the danger that tyranny thrives on fake news, that to abandon facts is to abandon freedom and that this is IPSO’s challenge and the challenge for us all.

Click HERE to read Sir Alan's speech in full (PDF).


Selina Hastings, journalist, author and biographer of Evelyn Waugh was the guest speaker at Lancing College’s Evelyn Waugh Annual Lecture and Dinner on 21 April 2016. Selina’s subject for her talk was the literary and epistolary relationship between Waugh and his lifetime friend, Nancy Mitford. Evelyn Waugh was at Lancing between 1916-1921; his final school report notes “His work has great merit and is sometimes really brilliant…he has quite unusual ability and a real gift for writing. We shall hear of him again.”

Over 150 guests from the Lancing family attended the special occasion, 100 years on from when Waugh first came to Lancing.

The lecture was followed by a wonderful dinner in the Dining Hall and concluded with a toast to the College and its loyal supporters by Sir Tim Rice, Chairman of the Foundation Council.

Click HERE to view a gallery of photos from the 2016 event.


The College welcomed Charles Moore and the supporters of the Foundation to the annual Evelyn Waugh Lecture and Foundation Dinner on 23 April 2015. Charles Moore is the former editor of the Daily Telegraph, Sunday Telegraph and the Spectator, and latterly Margaret Thatcher’s official biographer, the first volume of which has been met with universal acclaim. In a fascinating talk attended by a packed audience of pupils, parents, OLs and staff, Mr Moore talked about the challenges of writing a biography of the most iconic political leader since Churchill. Commenting on the dearth of personal information (something he saw as essential in his biography) Mr Moore asked Mrs Thatcher why so little was available, to which she replied “I just didn’t think I was going to be important.”

Please click HERE to view a gallery of photographs from the evening.


Sir Peter Bazalgette, Chair of Arts Council England and President of the Royal Television Society, was the guest speaker at the Evelyn Waugh Lecture at Lancing on 1 May 2014. His entertaining and informative talk delighted the audience of pupils, parents, staff and invited guests and led to a lively question and answer session.



Our 2013 lecture was a very special occasion: Derek Granger, producer of the iconic serialisation of Waugh’s most successful novel, Brideshead Revisited, described the filming of the book, and was introduced by Anthony Andrews, the actor, who made his name as Sebastian Flyte in the series.





 At the 2012 Lecture the Reverend Professor Richard Griffiths (Teme 1948-1953) gave a fascinating talk on Waugh's Lancing diaries and the lessons that can be learned from them in relation to his other written works. It inspired many members of the audience to re-read the most well-known novels.



The 2011 Lecture was held on 21 March to coincide with the celebrations to mark the bicentenary of our founder’s birthday. Christopher Hampton CBE, OL, was the guest speaker; Christopher is a playwright, screen writer and film director. He is best known for his play based on the novel Les Liaisons Dangereuses and the film version Dangerous Liaisons (1988) and also more recently for writing the nominated screenplay for the film adaptation of Ian McEwan's Atonement. His eagerly anticipated film A Dangerous Method, for which he wrote the screenplay, basing it on his own play The Talking Cure, is about the turbulent relationship between Carl Jung and his mentor Sigmund Freud and will be released later this year. Christopher spoke about the similarities between his life and that of Evelyn Waugh, and about how apparently disastrous events can have a very positive and happy outcome.

At drinks held before the 2011 Foundation Dinner, in the Sanderson Room, a bronze bust of Evelyn Waugh was unveiled by its creator, Evelyn Waugh's grandson Tom Waugh. This will remain in the Sanderson Room which is the old library, where Waugh spent a great deal of his time as librarian.

Alexander Waugh, grandson of Evelyn Waugh, spoke in 2009 about both his grandfather’s time at Lancing and his great works. Alexander dispelled many of the myths surrounding his grandfather’s schooldays and consequent relationship with Lancing. He opened the lecture with the news that he had just signed a contract with Oxford University Press to re-publish all 47 works of his grandfather. Alexander will be the editor of the project and expects it to take 16 years to complete.


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