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 . . .

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'.

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'.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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'.

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.

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.

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?

Brideshead Revisited

Evelyn Waugh

'I knew Sebastian by sight long before I met him. That was unavoidable for, from his first week, he was the most conspicuous man of his year by reason of his beauty, which was arresting, and his eccentricities of behaviour, which seemed to know no bounds.'

Charles Ryder, a lonely student at Oxford, is captivated by the outrageous and exquisitely beautiful Sebastian Flyte. Invited to Brideshead, Sebastian's magnificent family home, Charles welcomes the attentions of its eccentric, aristocratic inhabitants. But he also discovers a world where duty and desire, faith and earthly happiness are in conflict; a world which threatens to destroy his beloved Sebastian.

A scintillating depiction of the decadent, privileged aristocracy prior to the Second World War, Brideshead Revisited is widely regarded as Evelyn Waugh's finest work.

The Complete Short Stories

Evelyn Waugh

In this unique collection of short stories composed between 1910-62, Evelyn Waugh's early juvenilia are brought together with later pieces, some of which became the inspirations for his novels. 'Mr Loveday's Little Outing' is a blackly comic tale of a mental asylum and its favourite resident; 'Cruise' sees a hilarious series of letters from a naïve young woman as she travels with her family; 'A House of Gentlefolks' observes a group of elderly eccentric aristocrats and their young heir; and in 'The Sympathetic Passenger' a radio-loathing retiree picks up exactly the wrong hitchhiker. These witty and immaculately crafted stories display the finest writing of a master of satire and comic twists.

The Letters of Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh

Evelyn Waugh (and others)

Nancy Mitford and Evelyn Waugh were two of the twentieth century's most amusing and gifted writers, who matched wits and traded literary advice in more than five hundred letters over twenty-two years. Dissecting their friends, criticizing each other's books and concealing their true feelings beneath a barrage of hilarious and knowing repartee, they found it far easier to conduct a friendship on paper than in person. This correspondence provides a colourful glimpse into the literary and social circles of London and Paris, during the Second World War and for twenty years after.

The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold

Evelyn Waugh

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.

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.