A NEW book focusing on the life of Brideshead Revisited author Evelyn Waugh is to create a special trail around the city for readers.

The author will always be associated with Oxford, thanks to the popular TV dramatisation of the acclaimed novel.

The 1981 serial starring Jeremy Irons and Anthony Andrews was produced by Granada Television, adapting Waugh’s novel which was partly set at Oxford University and published in 1945.

Now Barbara Cooke, a lecturer at Loughborough University has written her new book, Evelyn Waugh’s Oxford.

Alexander Waugh, the author’s grandson, said in his foreword: “As an undergraduate Waugh spent much of his time drinking, socialising, spending too much money and what he called ‘eating wild honey in the wilderness’ but, like his character Charles Ryder, he never looked back in regret.

“Barbara Cooke, a leading expert on Waugh’s life and work, offers an engaging account of Oxford’s effect on Waugh and Waugh’s effect on Oxford that should leave the reader with a refreshed, if slightly altered, view of both.”

Published by the Bodleian Library, the new study feature illustrations by Amy Dodd, who creates a hand-drawn trail around Waugh’s Oxford, including favourite locations such as the Botanic Garden, the Oxford Union and The Chequers pub off High Street.

Dr Cooke’s new book draws on specially commissioned illustrations and previously unpublished photographic material to provide a robust assessment of Waugh’s engagement with Oxford over the course of his literary career.

Following a brief overview of Waugh’s life and work, subsequent chapters of Dr Cooke’s book analyse the prose and graphic art the writer produced.

Dr Cooke is also an editor on the Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh project, which will see the author’s entire output published in 43 volumes by Oxford University Press.

The mammoth task is being overseen by Alexander Waugh, as general editor, with Dr Cooke and Prof Martin Stannard as co-executive editors.

The first volume published last year featured the author’s schoolboy diaries, with letters and papers covering the period 1903 to 1921.

Alexander Waugh last year told the Oxford Mail he hoped the project could be completed within 10 years.

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, letters, reportage, diaries, poems, drawings, and designs, presented with full annotation.

Evelyn Waugh’s Oxford is published by Bodleian Library Publishing in March, price £20.