10 APRIL 1964, Page 12

Alfred Duggan In a week obsessed with the present and

the immediate future, the death of Alfred Duggan made little mark. He wrote of the distant past. The art of the historical novelist is difficult and uncommon. Duggan wrote novels which were convincing evocations of the post-classical and mediaaval worlds. An. admirable memoir in The Times on Tuesday told of his unusual career. He was the stepson of Lord Curzon: American, Argentine and Irish by descent. As a young man he was a Marxist and an atheist and devoted to fox-hunting. His book Knight With Armour appeared in 1950, when Duggan was approach- ing the age of fifty. After this late start, other works followed at least once a year. He died 3 conservative Catholic, and with a creditable measure of literary success. The tribute in The Times was written with a distinctive elegance and economy. It appeared under the initial's 'E. W.' I recall that Mr. Evelyn Waugh' has in the past expressed his admiration for Duggan's work.