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A Handful of Dust

Written by Evelyn Waugh

Part of the Penguin Modern Classics Series

A Handful of Dust 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. 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

A Handful of Dust Press Reviews

A vicious, witty novel. -- New York Times Waugh's technique is relentless and razor-edged...By any standard it is super satire. -- Chicago Daily News The most mature and the best written novel that Mr. Waugh has yet produced. -- New Statesman & Nation A story both tragic and hilariously funny, that seems to move along without aid from its author...Unquestionably the best book Mr. Waugh has written. -- Saturday Review A vicious, witty novel. -- New York Times Waugh's technique is relentless and razor-edged...By any standard it is super satire. -- Chicago Daily News The most mature and the best written novel that Mr. Waugh has yet produced. -- New Statesman & Nation A story both tragic and hilariously funny, that seems to move along without aid from its author...Unquestionably the best book Mr. Waugh has written. -- Saturday Review

Book Information

ISBN: 9780141183961
Publication date: 7th December 2000
Author: Evelyn Waugh
Publisher: Penguin Classics an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 320 pages

About Evelyn Waugh

Evelyn Waugh was born in Hampstead in 1903, second son of Arthur Waugh, publisher and literary critic, and brother of Alec Waugh, the popular novelist. He was educated at Lancing and Hertford College, Oxford, where he read Modern History. 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), Black Mischief (1932), A Handful of Dust (1934) and Scoop (1938). During these years he travelled extensively in most parts of Europe, the Near East, Africa and tropical America, and published a number of travel books, including Labels (1930), Remote ...

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