Having belatedly realised that Evelyn Waugh is a great writer, I am reading his diaries edited by Michael Davie. Unfortunately, Mr Davie has done a rather eccentric job, sometimes providing no footnote to identify a figure who appears again and again over months, years or even decades, sometimes providing detailed notes for people who only pop up once, in passing.
I have no criticism of the notes themselves, which are usually v amusing, e.g this one, identifying an unnamed fellow guest at a dinner Waugh goes to:
"Captain Hyde-Upward; it was his custom to polish and clean out his pipe while standing naked at his bedroom window."
Anyway, in hunting about in the index for information about those who are left unfootnoted, I discovered that Evelyn's older brother, Alec Waugh, invented, in April, 1924, the cocktail party, to fill the gap in London social life between 5.30 and 7.00.
Shame on him, I say, while simultaneously wondering how diplomats managed before that.