A Handful of Dust

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Overview

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.
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A Handful of Dust

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Overview

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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781560549741
  • Publisher: Sound Library
  • Publication date: 1/1/2000
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Unabridged

Meet the Author

Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966), whom Time called "one of the century's great masters of English prose," wrote several widely acclaimed novels as well as volumes of biography, memoir, travel writing, and journalism. Three of his novels, A Handful of Dust, Scoop, and Brideshead Revisited, were selected by the Modern Library as among the 100 best novels of the twentieth century.

Biography

Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966) was born in Hampstead, England, into a family of publishers and writers. He was educated at Lancing and at Hertford College, Oxford, where he majored in modern history.

Waugh's first book, A Life of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, was published in 1928. Soon afterward his first novel, Decline and Fall, appeared and his career was sensationally launched. In fifteen novels of cunning construction and lapidary eloquence, Time summarized later, Evelyn Waugh developed a wickedly hilarious yet fundamentally religious assault on a century that, in his opinion, had ripped up the nourishing taproot of tradition and let wither all the dear things of the world. Apart from his novels, Waugh also wrote several acclaimed travel books, two additional biographies, and an autobiography, A Little Learning.

Author biography courtesy of Time Warner.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Evelyn Arthur St. John Waugh (full name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 28, 1903
    2. Place of Birth:
      West Hampstead, London
    1. Date of Death:
      April 10, 1966

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.
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