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About the book
  • Published: 9 January 2001
  • ISBN: 9780141183961
  • Imprint: Peng. Mod. Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $19.99

A Handful Of Dust




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 enjoyed A Handful of Dust, you might like Waugh's Vile Bodies, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.

  • Pub date: 9 January 2001
  • ISBN: 9780141183961
  • Imprint: Peng. Mod. Classics
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 288
  • RRP: $19.99

About the Author

Evelyn Waugh

Evelyn Waugh was born in Hampstead, London, in 1903. He studied History at Hertford College, Oxford, but left without a degree. After a brief period as a teacher, he published his first book, a biography of the artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti, in 1928. The same year also saw the publication of his first novel, Decline and Fall, which established his reputation. Further novels, including Vile Bodies (1930), A Handful of Dust (1934) and Brideshead Revisited (1945) were highly acclaimed. Waugh also wrote several travel books and short stories, and was a prolific journalist and book reviewer. Waugh died on Easter Sunday, 1966, at his home in Combe Florey, Somerset.

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