This is not the only one of Alec Waugh's novels in which he has described the agonies of a couple who are desperately in love but cannot marry, for it is a situation that he has himself lived through. But it is in this novel that he has drawn most specifically upon experiences he has only alluded to in other books.
His protagonist is Gordon Carruthers, who was also the hero of The Loom of Youth, that then-shocking and revelatory novel of public-school life. Now transformed into a globe-trotting writer, Carruthers falls in love with a beautiful American socialite, and eventually, while her husband is away, they begin an affair. For reasons that only gradually become clear, their situation seems to be a cul-de-sac, leading to a denouement that is both surprising and, paradoxically, the only possible one.
So Lovers Dream is an autobiographical novel in more ways than one. Into it Waugh put not only his love affair but his home, his literary agent, the details of his own life. This makes it both an enthralling tale and a candid self-revelation, and as always in this writer's work, an affectionate evocation of a time he has lived through.
Alec Waugh (1898-1981) was a British novelist born in London and educated at Sherborne Public School, Dorset. Waugh’s first novel, The Loom of Youth (1917), is a semi-autobiographical account of public-school life that caused some controversy at the time and led to his expulsion. Waugh was the only boy ever to be expelled from The Old Shirburnian Society.
Despite setting this record, Waugh went on to become the successful author of over 50 works, and lived in many exotic places throughout his life which later became the settings for some of his texts. He was also a noted wine connoisseur and campaigned to make the cocktail party a regular feature of 1920s social life.