"This was, in fact, the basis of his acquaintance with most of the famous people in his life."

All of Julian's famous friends mentioned here tend to be English or American writers and who were prominent in the early or mid-twentieth century. It is particularly interesting that Tartt connects Julian with Harold Acton (1904-1994) as it creates an oblique reference to Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh and The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot. Acton was at Oxford with Evelyn Waugh. Although Waugh stated that Acton was not the primary inspiration for his character Anthony Blanche, he did inspire one particularly memorable scene in Brideshead when he proclaimed The Waste Land through a megaphone from a balcony. Brideshead is never directly mentioned in The Secret History, and yet the latter was clearly influenced by it.

Brideshead Revisited on Book Drum