WEFOUNDHelena (Loyola Classics) by Evelyn Waugh (March 01,2005)

Today is also the memorial of St. Helena (Helen), mother of Emperor Constantine and according to tradition, discoverer of the True Cross.

For a decidedly novel and novelistic take on Helena, check out Evelyn Waugh’s novel  Helena.   It was his favorite of all of his novels. Some people hate it, but I love it. When I was working as editor of the  Loyola Classics  series , the book was amazingly out of copyright in the US, so we were able to publish it with an introduction by George Weigel.  I see that the copyright issue has gone another way, it seems, so the book is now published as part of a series of Waugh novels by .  You can get copies of the Loyola edition here , and the current edition here. 

Some, as I said, hate it because, they say, it’s basically the type of characters you find in  Vile Bodies  and  Handful of Dust  –   1920’s British upperclass twits – plopped down in the 4th century.  Well, that’s part of the reason I like it. It’s entertaining in that way.