9780141183961

A Handful of Dust (Penguin Modern Classics)

Waugh, Evelyn

ISBN 10: 0141183969 / 0-14-118396-9
ISBN 13: 9780141183961
Publisher: Penguin Books, Limited (UK)
Publication Date: 2010
Binding: Softcover
Editorial Reviews for this title:
Synopsis:
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". (Frank Kermode). "This is a masterpiece of stylish satire, and is funny, too ...a marvellous book". (John Banville, "Irish Times").

Review:
"All over England people were waking up, queasy and despondent."

Few writers have walked the line between farce and tragedy as nimbly as Evelyn Waugh, who employed the conventions of the comic novel to chip away at the already crumbling English class system. His 1934 novel, A Handful of Dust, is a sublime example of his bleak satirical style: a mordantly funny exposé of aristocratic decadence and ennui in England between the wars.

Tony Last is an aristocrat whose attachment to an ideal feudal past is so profound that he is blind to his wife Brenda's boredom with the stately rhythms of country life. While he earnestly plays the lord of the manor in his ghastly Victorian Gothic pile, she sets herself up in a London flat and pursues an affair with the social-climbing idler John Beaver. In the first half of the novel Waugh fearlessly anatomizes the lifestyles of the rich and shameless. Everyone moves through an endless cycle of parties and country-house weekends, being scrupulously polite in public and utterly horrid in private. Sex is something one does to relieve the boredom, and Brenda's affair provides a welcome subject for conversation:

It had been an autumn of very sparse and meagre romance; only the most obvious people had parted or come together, and Brenda was filling a want long felt by those whose simple, vicarious pleasure it was to discuss the subject in bed over the telephone.
Tony's indifference and Brenda's selfishness give their relationship a sort of equilibrium until tragedy forces them to face facts. The collapse of their relationship accelerates, and in the famous final section of the book Tony seeks solace in a foolhardy search for El Dorado, throwing himself on the mercy of a jungle only slightly more savage than the one he leaves behind in England. For all its biting wit, A Handful of Dust paints a bleak picture of the English upper classes, reaching beyond satire toward a very modern sense of despair. In Waugh's world, culture, breeding, and the trappings of civilization only provide more subtle means of destruction. --Simon Leake

Review

Review:
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A Handful of Dust (Penguin Modern Classics): Search Results

1.
A Handful of Dust (Paperback) (ISBN: 9780141183961)
Waugh, Evelyn
ISBN 10: 0141183969
ISBN 13: 9780141183961
Bookseller: The Book Depository US (Gloucester, ., United Kingdom)
Bookseller Rating: 5-star rating
Quantity Available: 10

Book Description: Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 129 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. 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 . (Frank Kermode). This is a masterpiece of stylish satire, and is funny, too .a marvellous book . (John Banville, Irish Times ). Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141183961

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2.
A Handful of Dust (Paperback) (ISBN: 9780141183961)
Waugh, Evelyn
ISBN 10: 0141183969
ISBN 13: 9780141183961
Bookseller: The Book Depository (Gloucester, UK, United Kingdom)
Bookseller Rating: 5-star rating
Quantity Available: 10

Book Description: Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 129 mm. Brand New Book. 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 . (Frank Kermode). This is a masterpiece of stylish satire, and is funny, too .a marvellous book . (John Banville, Irish Times ). Bookseller Inventory # APG9780141183961

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Book Description: Penguin Books Ltd. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, A Handful of Dust, Evelyn Waugh, Robert Murray Davis, 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". (Frank Kermode). "This is a masterpiece of stylish satire, and is funny, too .a marvellous book". (John Banville, "Irish Times"). Bookseller Inventory # B9780141183961

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