Taking its title from T.S. Eliot's modernist poem The Waste Land, Evelyn Waugh's A Handful of Dust is a chronicle of Britain's decadence and social disintegration between the First and Second World Wars. This Penguin Modern Classics edition is edited with an introduction and notes by Robert Murray Davis.
After seven years of marriage, the beautiful Lady Brenda Last is bored with life at Hetton Abbey, the Gothic mansion that is the pride and joy of her husband, Tony. She drifts into an affair with the shallow socialite John Beaver and forsakes Tony for the Belgravia set. Brilliantly combining tragedy, comedy and savage irony, A Handful of Dust captures the irresponsible mood of the 'crazy and sterile generation' between the wars. This breakdown of the Last marriage is a painful, comic re-working of Waugh's own divorce, and a symbol of the disintegration of society.
Evelyn Waugh (1903-66) was born in Hampstead, second son of Arthur Waugh, publisher and literary critic, and brother of Alec Waugh, the popular novelist. In 1928 he published his first work, a life of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and his first novel, Decline and Fall, which was soon followed by Vile Bodies (1930), A Handful of Dust (1934) and Scoop (1938). In 1942 he published Put Out More Flags and then in 1945 Brideshead Revisited. Men at Arms (1952) was the first volume of 'The Sword of Honour' trilogy, and won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize; the other volumes, Officers and Gentlemen and Unconditional Surrender, followed in 1955 and 1961.
If you enjouyed A Handful of Dust, you might like Waugh's Vile Bodies, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.
'One of the twentieth century's most chilling and bitter novels; and one of its best'
Nicholas Lezard, Guardian
'One of the most distinguished novels of the century'
'This is a masterpiece of stylish satire, and is funny, too ... a marvellous book'
John Banville, Irish Times
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)
Evelyn Waugh’s 1934 novel is a bitingly funny vision of aristocratic decadence in England between the wars. It tells the story of Tony Last, who, to the irritation of his wife, is inordinately obsessed with his Victorian Gothic country house and life. When Lady Brenda Last embarks on an affair with the worthless John Beaver out of boredom with her husband, she sets in motion a sequence of tragicomic disasters that reveal Waugh at his most scathing.
The action is set in the brittle social world recognizable from Decline and Fall and Vile Bodies, darkened and deepened by Waugh’s own experience of sexual betrayal. As Tony is driven by the urbane savagery of this world to seek solace in the wilds of the Brazilian jungle, A Handful of Dust demonstrates the incomparably brilliant and wicked wit of one of the twentieth century’s most accomplished novelists.
A whole Gothic world had come to grief ...' Beautiful Lady Brenda Last lives at Hetton Abbey, a crumbling Gothic monstrosity that is her husband Tony's pride and joy. Bored and restless after seven years of marriage, she drifts into an affair with a worthless young socialite. Abandoning the country for the glamorous yet shallow London scene, Brenda imagines divorce will bring happiness. Instead she and Tony feel lost and isolated - victims of the wreckless times in which they live .
"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 014028740X