April 20, 2008 / 10:04 AM / 10 years ago

Novelist Evelyn Waugh's home up for sale

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - The West Country home where novelist Evelyn Waugh wrote two books during the last 10 years of his life has been put up for sale.

The 14-bedroom property, Combe Florey House, near Taunton in Somerset, is being offered for sale for 2.25 million pounds ($4.49 million) after his family decided they could no longer afford to keep running it.

Waugh wrote “Unconditional Surrender” and his autobiography “A Little Learning” at the house and entertained a string of authors there including Graham Greene and John Betjeman as well as society beauty Lady Diana Cooper.

Waugh bought it in 1956 and lavished money on the interior, installing items like a grand chandelier.

“His character and eccentric penchant for grandeur can still be felt all over the house,” his granddaughter Daisy wrote in the Sunday Times.

Waugh, whose novels include “Decline and Fall,” “Vile Bodies,” “Brideshead Revisited” and “Scoop,” lived in the house until his death in 1966.

His descendents carried on living in the house but have now decided to move somewhere where they can “afford to switch on the heating,” Daisy Waugh added.

“It’s time for the Waughs to bow gracefully to the inevitable,” she said.

The author is buried on the edge of the grounds beside a churchyard, but that area will not be included in the sale.

Selling agents Knight Frank described the house as “full of character with some exceptionally good architectural rooms.”

Reporting by Avril Ormsby; Editing by Steve Addison and Paul Casciato

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