NOVELIST Evelyn Waugh will forever be associated with Oxford, thanks to the acclaimed TV dramatisation of Brideshead Revisited.

The 1981 serial starring Jeremy Irons and Anthony Andrews was produced by Granada Television and has lived long in the memory.

Now the author's complete works are to be published in 43 volumes by Oxford University Press.

The mammoth task is being overseen by Mr Waugh's grandson, Alexander Waugh, as general editor.

The first volume, being published next month, will be the author's schoolboy diaries, with letters and papers covering the period 1903 to 1921.

Alexander Waugh said: "I do hope the whole project can be completed in 10 years and I hope the publication of the first five volumes in the autumn will galvanise editors working on other volumes.

"With Brideshead my grandfather invented a way of looking at Oxford, a mellowness, and it was that TV series in the 1980s with its soft rich tones that imprinted itself on people's minds and drove people back to the book.

"My daughter Mary graduated in French from Christ Church about a year ago and it wasn't the idyllic dream of Brideshead at all – she worked extremely hard."

The Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh will bring together for the first time all of the author's writings and graphic art, both previously published and unpublished.

The novelist's biographer, Professor Martin Stannard of the University of Leicester, and the late Prof David Bradshaw, of Worcester College, Oxford, have been co-executive editors of the first five volumes, which will be published this autumn, with the next set due to appear in 2019.

No other collection of a British novelist’s work has been undertaken on a comparable scale.

Oxford University Press signed up The Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh in 2009.

It will include novels, biographies, essays, letters, reportage, travel writings, reviews, diaries, poems, drawings, and designs, presented with comprehensive introductions and annotation.

Every volume of fiction and non-fiction gives a full account of the text's manuscript development to guide the reader through its literary, social, and biographical context.

Evelyn Waugh was born in 1903 and died in 1966. He attended New College in Oxford before embarking on a career in publishing.

The schoolboy diaries document his time at Heath Mount, a preparatory school in Hampstead, North London, and describe in words and sketches his numerous punch-ups.

Brideshead Revisited, about two young men who meet at Oxford University and their friendship through the subsequent years, was first published in 1945.

To celebrate the first five volumes, the Bodleian's Weston Library will be hosting an exhibition of Evelyn Waugh’s Oxford, curated by Barbara Cooke, from August 26 to October 22.

The first volume,1903-1921: Precocious Waughs, is the first of 12 in the Personal Writings series, featuring the author's early letters and school diary entries, many seen for the first time, with over 120 illustrations.

It will be published on September 14, price £65, and is edited by Alexander Waugh and Alan Bell.