Books

Decline and Fall

Evelyn Waugh

A tie-in edition of Waugh's first and funniest novel to accompany the new BBC adaptation starring Jack Whitehall.

Sent down from Oxford University for indecent behaviour, Paul Pennyfeather embarks on a series of bizarre adventures that start in a minor public school and end in one of Her Majesty's prisons. In this, his first and funniest novel, Evelyn Waugh brilliantly satirised the roaring twenties with his story of an innocent abroad in high society.

Put Out More Flags

Evelyn Waugh

'The hideous, then unfamiliar shriek of the air-raid sirens sang out over London.'

Upper-class rogues, bohemians, dowagers, socialites, bureaucrats and delinquent evacuees prepare for England to change forever, in this hilarious and deadly serious 1942 satire on the 'phoney war'.

A Handful of Dust

Evelyn Waugh

'A whole Gothic world had come to grief . . .'

Beautiful Lady Brenda Last lives at Hetton Abbey, a crumbling Gothic monstrosity that is her husband Tony's pride and joy. Bored and restless after seven years of marriage, she drifts into an affair with a worthless young socialite. Abandoning the country for the glamorous yet shallow London scene, Brenda imagines divorce will bring happiness. Instead she and Tony feel lost and isolated - victims of the wreckless times in which they live . . .

Edmund Campion: Jesuit and Martyr

Evelyn Waugh

In 1581 Edmund Campion, a Jesuit priest working underground in Protestant England, was found guilty of treason and hanged, drawn and quartered at Tyburn. Years later he would be beatified. Evelyn Waugh's compelling and elegant narrative is a homage to the man he revered as a poet, scholar, hero and martyr. He tells Campion's story with a novelist's eye for detail, from his success as an Oxford scholar, through his travels around Europe, his doomed secret mission to England and on to his capture and dramatic trial.

Vividly re-creating a time of persecution and surveillance, Evelyn Waugh - author of A Handful of Dust, Scoop, Vile Bodies, Brideshead Revisited and the Sword of Honour trilogy - writes that 'the hunted, trapped murdered priest is our contemporary and Campion's voice sounds to us across the centuries'.

The Life of Right Reverend Ronald Knox

Evelyn Waugh

From Evelyn Waugh, the author of beloved novels such as Brideshead Revisited, A Handful of Dust and Vile Bodies, this is the biography of Ronald Knox - priest, classicist, prolific writer and one of the outstanding men of letters of his time. The renowned Oxford chaplain was a friend of figures such as G. K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc, and was known for his caustic wit and spiritual wisdom. Evelyn Waugh, his devoted friend and admirer, was asked by Knox to write his biography just before his death in 1957. The result, published after two years of research and writing, is a tribute to a uniquely gifted man: 'the wit and scholar marked out for popularity and fame; the boon companion of a generation of legendary heroes; the writer of effortless felicity and versatility ... who never lost a friend or made an enemy'.

Robbery Under Law (12)

Evelyn Waugh

In Robbery Under Law, subtitled 'The Mexican Object Lesson', Waugh presents a profoundly unpeaceful Mexican situation as a cautionary tale in which a once great civilisation - greater than the United States at the turn of the twentieth century - has succumbed, within the space of a single generation, to barbarism.

Scoop

Evelyn Waugh

Lord Copper, newspaper magnate and proprietor of the Daily Beast, has always prided himself on his intuitive flair for spotting ace reporters. That is not to say he has not made the odd blunder, however, and may in a moment of weakness make another.Acting on a dinner-party tip from Mrs Algernon Smith, he feels convinced that he has hit on just the chap to cover a promising little war in the African Republic of Ishmaelia. One of Waugh's most exuberant comedies, Scoop is a brilliantly irreverentsatire of Fleet Street and its hectic pursuit of hot news.

Unconditional Surrender

Evelyn Waugh

Guy Crouchback has lost his Halberdier idealism. A desk job in London gives him the chance of reconciliation with his former wife. Then, in Yugoslavia, as a liaison officer with the partisans, he finally becomes aware of the futility of a war he once saw in terms of honour.

Rossetti

Evelyn Waugh

Part of the fabulous new hardback library of 24 Evelyn Waugh books, publishing in chronological order over the coming year. The books have an elegant new jacket and text design.

Rossetti was Evelyn Waugh's first published book. It details the life and works of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and Waugh naturally offers his own critique of this magnanimous Victorian pre-raphelite.

Mr Loveday's Little Outing & Other Early Stories (13)

Evelyn Waugh

In this unique collection of Waugh's early short stories, some of which became the inspirations for his novels, Waugh displays his unique talent for comedy and narration. 'Mr Loveday's Little Outing' is a blackly comic tale of a mental asylum and its favourite resident, while 'Cruise' sees a hilarious series of letters from a naïve young woman as she travels with her family. These witty and immaculately crafted stories display the finest writing of a master of satire and comic twists.

A Little Learning (23)

Evelyn Waugh

'Only when one has lost all curiosity about the future has one reached the age to write an autobiography'. Waugh begins his story with heredity, writing of the energetic, literary and sometimes eccentric men and women who, unknown to themselves, contributed to his genius. Save for a few pale shadows, his childhood was warm, bright and serene. The Hampstead and Lancing schooldays which followed were sometimes agreeable, but often not. His life at Oxford - which he evokes in Brideshead Revisited - was essentially a catalogue of friendship. His cool recollection of those hedonistic days is a portrait of the generation of Harold Acton, Cyril Connolly and Anthony Powell. That exclusive world he recalls with elegant wit and precision. He closes with his experiences as a master at a preparatory school in North Wales which inspired Decline and Fall.

Sword of Honour (24)

Evelyn Waugh

Waugh's own unhappy experience of being a soldier is superbly re-enacted in this story of Guy Crouchback, a Catholic and a gentleman, commissioned into the Royal Corps of Halberdiers during the war years 1939-45. High comedy - in the company of Brigadier Ritchie-Hook or the denizens of Bellamy's Club - is only part of the shambles of Crouchback's war. When action comes in Crete and in Yugoslavia, he discovers not heroism, but humanity.

Sword of Honour combines three volumes: Officers and Gentlemen, Men at Arms and Unconditional Surrender, which were originally published separately. Extensively revised by Waugh, they were published as the one-volume Sword of Honour in 1965, in the form in which Waugh himself wished them to be read.

The Loved One (17)

Evelyn Waugh

Part of the fabulous new hardback library of 24 Evelyn Waugh books, publishing in chronological order.

Following the death of a friend, poet and pets' mortician Dennis Barlow finds himself entering into the artificial Hollywood paradise of the Whispering Glades Memorial Park. Within its golden gates, death, American-style, is wrapped up and sold like a package holiday. There, Dennis enters the fragile and bizarre world of Aimée, the naïve Californian corpse beautician, and Mr Joyboy, the master of the embalmer's art ...

A dark and savage satire on the Anglo-American cultural divide, The Loved One depicts a world where love, reputation and death cost a very great deal.

A Tourist in Africa (21)

Evelyn Waugh

The last tranche of the fabulous new hardback library of 24 Evelyn Waugh books, publishing in chronological order.

In this brilliant travel diary Evelyn Waugh captures a portrait of Africa and the Levant as it was emerging from the shadow of WW II and into the post- colonial order. He reports on Port Said, Aden, Kenya, Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanganyika, Rhodesia, Mozambique, Bechuanaland and South Africa. Waugh was no defender of the established order, but nor did he succumb to hype, either. He knew the emergers were going to get something far different from what they expected.

The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold (19)

Evelyn Waugh

Part of the fabulous new hardback library of 24 Evelyn Waugh books, publishing in chronological order.

An inability to control his fantasies sends Gilbert Pinfold, a well-known author, cruising on a Ceylon-bound liner to recuperate. Yet, to his horror, the hallucinations increase and life on board becomes very embarrassing. This curious and diverting novel throws new light on Evelyn Waugh's remarkable talent.

The Life of Right Reverend Ronald Knox (20)

Evelyn Waugh

Part of the fabulous new hardback library of 24 Evelyn Waugh books, publishing in chronological order.

When Waugh was only 11 his father had read an anti-Modernist satire by Ronald Knox, the Catholic writer and theologian, and was 'dazzled' by its brilliance. 'Since then,' Waugh wrote to Knox years later, 'every word you have written and spoken has been pure light to me.' The two remained friends for life, and in 1957, the year of Knox's death, he asked Waugh to write his biography. What Waugh produced over an intensive period of two years' research and writing is a captivating account of a gifted man, whose unique character and spiritual journey resonate powerfully.

Helena (18)

Evelyn Waugh

Part of the fabulous new hardback library of 24 Evelyn Waugh books, publishing in chronological order over the coming year.

The Empress Helena, mother of Constantine the Great, made the historic pilgrimage to Palestine, found pieces of wood from the true Cross, and built churches at Bethlehem and Olivet. Her life coincided with one of the great turning-points of history: the recognition of Christianity as the religion of the Roman Empire. The enormous conflicting forces of the age, and the corruption, treachery, and madness of Imperial Rome combine to give Evelyn Waugh the theme for one of his most arresting and memorable novels.

Tactical Exercise & Other Late Stories

Evelyn Waugh

Part of the fabulous new hardback library of 24 Evelyn Waugh books, publishing in chronological order.

Composed between 1939-62, the late stories of Evelyn Waugh are in turn blackly comic and bitingly satirical. In 'The Sympathetic Passenger' a radio-loathing retiree picks up exactly the wrong hitchhiker, while 'Charles Ryder's Schooldays' provides a hilarious and fragmentary insight into life before Brideshead. These witty and immaculately crafted stories display the finest writing of a master of satire and comic twists.

Waugh in Abyssinia (10)

Evelyn Waugh

In 1935 Italy declared war on Abyssinia and Evelyn Waugh was sent to Addis Ababa to cover the conflict. His acerbic account of the intrigue and political machinations leading up to the crisis is coupled with amusing descriptions of the often bizarre and seldom straightforward life of a war correspondent rubbing shoulders with less than honest officials, Arab spies, pyjama-wearing radicals and disgruntled journalists. Witty, lucid and penetrating, Evelyn Waugh captures the dilemmas and complexities of a feudal society caught up in twentieth-century politics and confrontation.

Edmund Campion: Jesuit and Martyr (9)

Evelyn Waugh

Edmund Campion (1540-1581) was a Jesuit priest who, in the turbulent years before the Spanish Armada, was charged with treason and executed. Waugh's book is an elegant homage to a man he revered as a hero and a martyr.

Biography

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.