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'.

A Tourist in Africa (21)

Evelyn Waugh

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.

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.

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.

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.

Tactical Exercise & Other Late Stories

Evelyn Waugh

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.

Ninety-Two Days (7)

Evelyn Waugh

'Who in his sense will read, still less buy, a travel book of no scientific value about a place he has no intention of visiting?'. Waugh provides the answer to his own question in this entertaining chronicle of a South American journey. In it, he describes the isolated cattle country of Guiana, sparsely populated by a bizarre collection of visionaries, rogues and ranchers, and records his nightmarish experiences traveling on foot, by horse and by boat through the jungle into Brazil. He debunks the romantic notions attached to rough traveling - his trip is difficult, dangerous and extremely uncomfortable - and his acute and witty observations in this marvelous travelogue give his reader 'a share in the experience of travel'.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

When the Going Was Good (16)

Evelyn Waugh

Between 1929 and 1935 Evelyn Waugh travelled widely and wrote four books about his experiences. In this collection he writes, with his customary wit and perception, about a cruise around the Mediterranean; a train trip from Djibouti to Abyssinia to attend Emperor Haile Selassie's coronation in 1930; his travels in Aden, Zanzibar, Kenya and the Congo, coping with unbearable heat and plagued by mosquitoes; a journey to Guyana and Brazil; and his return to Addis Ababa in 1935 to report on the war between Abyssinia and Italy. Waugh's adventures on his travels gave him the ideas for such classic novels as Scoop and Black Mischief.

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.

Decline and Fall (2)

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.

Sent down from Oxford for indecent behaviour, Paul Pennyfeather embarks on a series of bizarre adventures that start in a minor public school and end in one of HM prisons. In this, his first and funniest novel, Evelyn Waugh immediately caught the ear of the public with his account of an ingénue abroad in the razzmatazz of Twenties high society.

Black Mischief (6)

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.

'We are Progress and the New Age. Nothing can stand in our way.' When Oxford-educated Emperor Seth succeeds to the throne of the African state of Azania, he has a tough job on his hands. His subjects are ill-informed and unruly, and corruption, double-dealing and bloodshed are rife. However, with the aid of Minister of Modernization Basil Seal, Seth plans to introduce his people to the civilized ways of the west - but will it be as simple as that?

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.