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Fond memories of Uncle Sex

Features | September Issue


A hundred years ago, Alec Waugh, Evelyn’s older brother, wrote a scandalous gay novel. Alexander Waugh recalls a naughty great-uncle 

To his great nephews and nieces, Alec Waugh was known as ‘Uncle Sex’ – a sobriquet he would have relished had he known of it, for he was an erotomane and an unusually candid one. I remember him only dimly, because he lived most of his adult life abroad – in Tangier, New York and Florida – and seldom came to our house in Somerset. He was 83 when he died in September 1981 and had been married three times. I was seventeen when told of his demise by a man in a record shop in Taunton who heard it on the radio. I remember his shape – very small (I think under five foot three) and bald from the age of 19. His voice was like a treble recorder trying to play high notes in pianissimo. When silent (he was a good listener), he made distracting little popping noises...

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