Inspiration: Hugh Lygon
In the 20’s & 30’s London, everything and everyone can be tracked back to author Evelyn Waugh. Hugh Lygon is certainly one of those people. Born into an aristocratic family, sadly not the heir to Earl of Beauchamp, he became apart of the Bright Young People circle thanks to Waugh. Lygon met Waugh at Oxford and both became member of the Hypocrites' Club. The club had become circle of gentlemen who were keen to the same sex. Other members of the club include Terence Lucy Greenidge (author and actor) and Anthony Powell (author). Hugh and Evelyn’s friendship was rumored to border on a relationship. They spent a lot of time together in school and outside. After leaving Oxford they remained friends but only distant.
Hugh lived a rather short life but filled with a lot of love by friends and lovers. He lived his life mostly in excess of privilege and would die such a simple death. While traveling in Germany with his friend artist Henry Winch, Hugh stopped for directions and while on the side of the road he fell and his head on a boulder. Hugh had fractured his skull and would die a few short days later. Many claim that Hugh was the model for Evelyn Waugh’s character Sebastian Flyte in his novel Brideshead Revisited but that was only a small truth about the character. The persona and likeness was that of fellow Bright Young Thing, Stephen Tennant. What Waugh took from Lygon was their relationship and the passion for each other during their years at Oxford. Waugh also modeled his obsession with the Lygon Family after Hugh’s death and their stately home Madresfield. Hugh never took Waugh to the estate during his lifetime, Waugh would actually befriend Hugh’s sisters after his death and his obsession with Hugh’s father, who had shamed the family with his homosexual lifestyle would actually fuel the creation of his novel. But I leave that for another story!