A Handful of Dust: No. 8

A Handful of Dust: No. 8

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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. The breakdown of the Last marriage, is a painful, comic re-working of Waugh's own divorce and a symbol of the disintegration of society.

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  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 126 x 190 x 26mm | 358.34g
  • Penguin Books Ltd
  • LondonUnited Kingdom
  • English
  • 014119345X
  • 9780141193458
  • 108,904

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One of the twentieth century's most chilling and bitter novels; and one of its best -- Nicholas Lezard Guardian This is a masterpiece of stylish satire, and is funny too ... a marvellous book -- Irish Times Irish Times

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Flap copy

Evelyn Waugh's 1935 novel is a mordantly funny vision of aristocratic decadence and ennui in England between the wars. It tells the story of Tony Last, an aristocrat who, to the irritation of his wife, in inordinately obsessed with his Victorian gothic country house and life. Bored with her husband's old-fashioned ways, Lady Brenda begins an affair with an ambitious social climber. Faced with the collapse of his marriage and a sudden family tragedy, Tony is driven to seek solace in a foolhardy search for the fabled El Dorado in the wilds of Brazil, where he finds himself at the mercy of a jungle that is only slightly more savage than the one he left behind in England. Here is a sublime example of the incomparably brilliant and wicked wit of one of the 20th century's most accomplished novelists.

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About Evelyn Waugh

Evelyn Waugh was born in Hampstead in 1903. His first novel, Decline and Fall, was published in 1928 and it was soon followed by: Vile Bodies (1930), Black Mischief (1932), A Handful of Dust (1934) and Scoop (1938). He travelled extensively, served in the Royal Marines and the Royal Horse Guards and continued to write, winning many prestigious literary awards. Brideshead Revisited was first published in 1945. Evelyn Waugh died in 1966.

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