The Sword of Honour Trilogy (Everyman's Library)

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Overview

(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

This trilogy of novels about World War II, largely based on his own experiences as an army officer, is the crowning achievement of Evelyn Waugh’s career. Its central character is Guy Crouchback, head of an ancient but decayed Catholic family, who at first discovers new purpose in the challenge to defend Christian values against Nazi barbarism, but then gradually finds the complexities and cruelties of war too much for him. Yet, though often somber, the Sword of Honour trilogy is ...

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Overview

(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed)

This trilogy of novels about World War II, largely based on his own experiences as an army officer, is the crowning achievement of Evelyn Waugh’s career. Its central character is Guy Crouchback, head of an ancient but decayed Catholic family, who at first discovers new purpose in the challenge to defend Christian values against Nazi barbarism, but then gradually finds the complexities and cruelties of war too much for him. Yet, though often somber, the Sword of Honour trilogy is also a brilliant comedy, peopled by the fantastic figures so familiar from Waugh’s early satires. The deepest pleasures these novels afford come from observing a great satiric writer employ his gifts with extraordinary subtlety, delicacy, and human feeling, for purposes that are ultimately anything but satiric.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“[Men at Arms is] a highly entertaining novel. Waugh’s sharp wit and sure touch of satire are always at work.” –The Atlantic Monthly

“[Officers and Gentlemen is] deft and amusing, sober and appalling. And it offers, incidentally, one of the most graceful salutes of many seasons to the flexibility of the English language.” –New York Times

“Wise, amusing, and beautifully written. And because Officers and Gentlemen verifies a deepening seriousness and charity in Mr. Waugh’s art, it extends and renews the promise of his brilliant talent.”
Commonwealth

The End of the Battle [is] hypnotically readable . . . The complete work now clearly emerges as Mr. Waugh’s main achievement to date, and the one piece of English fiction about [World War II] which is certain to survive.” –Times Literary Supplement

Sword of Honour was the climax of [Waugh’s] career as a novelist . . . Here in his final work there run together the two styles, of mischief and gravity, that can be noted in his writing from the beginning . . . He may justifiably have thought of it as crowning his work.” –from the Introduction by Frank Kermode

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780679431367
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/28/1994
  • Series: Everyman's Library
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 760
  • Product dimensions: 8.17 (w) x 5.80 (h) x 1.64 (d)

Meet the Author

Evelyn Waugh
Although he’s best known for Brideshead Revisited, his melancholy look back at the twilight of the English aristocracy, it's Evelyn Waugh’s genius for satire that truly distinguishes him. His acid wit and relentless drive to uncover hypocrisy and pretension make him a writer whose sweet way with words is equally matched by his powerful, almost bitter satires of modern culture.

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

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2003

    The Best Book of the 20th Century -- No Exaggeration

    Sword of Honour's attributes include: prose any writer would kill for, drop-dead hilarity, pitch-perfect dialogue and eternally-memorable characters. Waugh observes the war with wryness, charity, acidity, acuity and anger. Because of that mixture, the book is prophetic in a very decent English sort of way. Perhaps the most all-round pleasing -- and effortlessly brilliant -- book of the 20th century.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 9, 2009

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    Posted April 9, 2009

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