A Handful of Dust

A Handful of Dust

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by Evelyn Waugh
     
 

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A HANDFUL OF DUST satirizes that stratum of English life where all the characters have money, but lack practically every other credential. Murderously urbane, it depicts the breakup of a marriage in the London gentry, where the errant wife suffers from terminal boredom and becomes enamored of a social parasite and professional lunch-goer.

The depravity and polished

Overview

A HANDFUL OF DUST satirizes that stratum of English life where all the characters have money, but lack practically every other credential. Murderously urbane, it depicts the breakup of a marriage in the London gentry, where the errant wife suffers from terminal boredom and becomes enamored of a social parasite and professional lunch-goer.

The depravity and polished savagery of these characters offer an opportunity for Waugh's rapier wit and subtly to "show us fear in a handful of dust."

"Waugh's technique is relentless and razor-edged...by any standard it is super satire." (Chicago Daily News)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780760725177
Publisher:
Sterling Publishing
Publication date:
09/01/2001
Pages:
196

Read an Excerpt

Evelyn Waugh's 1935 novel is a mordantly funny vision of aristocratic decadence and ennui in England between the wars.

It tells the story of Tony Last, an aristocrat who, to the irritation of his wife, in inordinately obsessed with his Victorian gothic country house and life. Bored with her husband's old-fashioned ways, Lady Brenda begins an affair with an ambitious social climber. Faced with the collapse of his marriage and a sudden family tragedy, Tony is driven to seek solace in a foolhardy search for the fabled El Dorado in the wilds of Brazil, where he finds himself at the mercy of a jungle that is only slightly more savage than the one he left behind in England.

Here is a sublime example of the incomparably brilliant and wicked wit of one of the 20th century's most accomplished novelists.

Meet the Author

Evelyn Waugh was born in Hampstead in 1903 and educated at Hertford College, Oxford. In 1928 he published his first novel, Decline and Fall, which was soon followed by Vile Bodies, Black Mischief (1932), A Handful of Dust (1934) and Scoop (1938). During these years he also travelled extensively and converted to Catholicism. In 1939 Waugh was commissioned in the Royal Marines and later transferred to the Royal Horse Guards, experiences which informed his Sword of Honour trilogy (1952-61). His most famous novel, Brideshead Revisited (1945), was written while on leave from the army. Waugh died in 1966.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
October 28, 1903
Date of Death:
April 10, 1966
Place of Birth:
West Hampstead, London
Education:
Hertford College, Oxford University, 1921-1924; Heatherley's Art School, 1924

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A Handful of Dust 3.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
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"Hello." Purr back.