Waugh is well known for his satirical novels which include Decline and Fall, Vile Bodies, Scoop, A Handful of Dust and The Loved One, and especially for Brideshead Revisited and the Sword of Honour trilogy. When he was writing these novels he used experiences that he had in his own life. He often described British aristocracy and high society, making satirical fun of them. However, in his real life he was also attracted to them.
He was the father of writer Auberon Waugh (1939-2001).