"Firbank sent him his novels with fervent inscriptions"

Ronald Firbank (1886-1926) was a British novelist whose works include Caprice (1917) and The Flower Beneath the Foot (1923).

As a young man, Waugh appeared to admire his work, and later acknowledged that he was influenced by it stylistically.

However, Selina Hastings (one of Waugh's biographers) notes that he appeared to have grown out of his taste for Firbank's work, having said in an interview in 1962, 'I think there would be something wrong with an elderly man who could enjoy Firbank'. [Evelyn Waugh: A Biography (p.209)]