Decline and Fall
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Decline and Fall

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Description

With his distinctive dark wit, Evelyn Waugh's Decline and Fall is a masterful social satire sending up the social mores of 1920s England, edited with an introduction by David Bradshaw in Penguin Modern Classics. Expelled from Oxford for indecent behaviour, Paul Pennyfeather is oddly unsurprised to find himself qualifying for the position of schoolmaster at Llanabba Castle. His colleagues are an assortment of misfits, including Prendy (plagued by doubts) and captain Grimes, who is always in the soup (or just plain drunk). Then Sports Day arrives, and with it the delectable Margot Beste-Chetwynde, floating on a scented breeze. As the farce unfolds and the young run riot, no one is safe, least of all Paul. Taking its title from Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Evelyn Waugh's first, funniest novel immediately caught the ear of the public with his account of an ingenu abroad in the decadent confusion of 1920s high society. "The funniest book I have ever read." (Julian Symons, The Times). "His first, most perfect novel...a ruthlessly comic plot." (John Mortimer, Guardian). "Concocted of cruelty, bigotry, pederasty, white slavery, violence, madness and murder, Decline and Fall is fundamentally playful and side-splittingly funny." (David Bradshaw).show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 126 x 192 x 16mm | 199.58g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • PENGUIN CLASSICS
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0141180900
  • 9780141180908
  • 62,702

Review quote

"* 'Waugh's comic universe has an aspect of vigorous bleak chaos which both outrages and delights' - Malcolm Bradbury"show more

About Evelyn Waugh

Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966), is considered chief chronicler of the 'Bright Young Things' (the aristocratic and fashionable circles of the 1920's) and is one of the century's most accomplished and funny novelists. Waugh is also widely regarded as the foremost social satirist of his generation. His other works, including VILE BODIES, SCOOP, THE LOVED ONE, and BRIDESHEAD REVISITED are also published in Modern Classics.show more

Review Text

Again an experiment in bringing to the fore a novel of earlier date, by an author whose recent work has widened his market. Woollcott felt that Waugh was England's most gifted ??novelist the publishers feel that this early novel deserves to be available again. An extravaganza, a satire on old school tie, on smart set house-parties, on a social order which the war is bringing to its end. Line up your Waugh enthusiasts tell them this reissue of his first novel is in the offing. (Kirkus Reviews)show more