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About Evelyn Waugh
Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh (/ˈɑːrθər ˈiːvlɪn ˈsɪndʒən wɔː/; 28 October 1903 – 10 April 1966), known by his pen name Evelyn Waugh, was an English writer of novels, biographies and travel books; he was also a prolific journalist and reviewer of books. His most famous works include the early satires Decline and Fall (1928) and A Handful of Dust (1934), the novel Brideshead Revisited (1945) and the Second World War trilogy Sword of Honour (1952–61).
Bio from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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After seven years of marriage, the beautiful Lady Brenda Last has grown 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. In a novel that combines tragedy, comedy, and savage irony, Evelyn Waugh indelibly captures the irresponsible mood of the "crazy and sterile generation" between the wars.
The wellsprings of desire and the impediments to love come brilliantly into focus in Evelyn Waugh's masterpiece -- a novel that immerses us in the glittering and seductive world of English aristocracy in the waning days of the empire.
Through the story of Charles Ryder's entanglement with the Flytes, a great Catholic family, Evelyn Waugh charts the passing of the privileged world he knew in his own youth and vividly recalls the sensuous pleasures denied him by wartime austerities. At once romantic, sensuous, comic, and somber, Brideshead Revisited transcends Waugh's early satiric explorations and reveals him to be an elegiac, lyrical novelist of the utmost feeling and lucidity.
"A genuine literary masterpiece." --Time
"Heartbreakingly beautiful...The twentieth century's finest English novel." --Los Angeles Times
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 Stitch, Lord Copper feels convinced that he has hit on just the chap to cover a promising war in the African Republic of Ishmaelia.
So begins Scoop, Waugh's exuberant comedy of mistaken identity and brilliantly irreverent satire of the hectic pursuit of hot news.
"Its timelessness is both hilarious and depressing." --Seth Meyers
Sent down from Oxford after a wild, drunken party, Paul Pennyfeather is oddly surprised to find himself qualifying for the position of schoolmaster at a boys' private school in Wales. His colleagues are an assortment of misfits, rascals and fools, 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 in Evelyn Waugh's dazzling debut as a novelist, the young run riot and no one is safe, least of all Paul.
In the years following the First World War a new generation emerged, wistful and vulnerable beneath the glitter. The Bright Young Things of 1920s London, with their paradoxical mix of innocence and sophistication, exercised their inventive minds and vile bodies in every kind of capricious escapade. In these pages a vivid assortment of characters, among them the struggling writer Adam Fenwick-Symes and the glamorous, aristocratic Nina Blount, hunt fast and furiously for ever greater sensations and the hedonistic fulfillment of their desires. Evelyn Waugh's acidly funny satire reveals the darkness and vulnerability beneath the sparkling surface of the high life.
Following the death of a friend, the poet and pets' mortician Dennis Barlow finds himself entering 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--and Dennis gets drawn into a bizarre love triangle with Aimée Thanatogenos, a naïve Californian corpse beautician, and Mr. Joyboy, a master of the embalmer's art. Waugh's dark and savage satire depicts a world where reputation, love, and death cost a very great deal.
Evelyn Waugh's short fiction reveals in miniaturized perfection the elements that made him the greatest satirist of the twentieth century. The stories collected here range from delightfully barbed portraits of the British upper classes to an alternative ending to Waugh's novel A Handful of Dust; from a "missing chapter" in the life of Charles Ryder, the nostalgic hero of Brideshead Revisited, to a plot-packed morality tale that Waugh composed at a very tender age; from an epistolary lark in the voice of "a young lady of leisure" to a darkly comic tale of scandal in a remote (and imaginary) African outpost.
This narrative spanning the war, based in part on Evelyn Waugh's own experiences as an army officer, is the author's surpassing achievement as a novelist. Its central character is Guy Crouchback, head of an ancient but decayed Catholic family, who at first discovers new purpose in the challenge to defend Christian values against Nazi barbarism, but then gradually finds the complexities and cruelties of war overwhelming. Though often somber, Sword of Honor is also a brilliant comedy, peopled by the fantastic figures so familiar from Waugh's early satires. The deepest pleasures these novels afford come from observing a great satiric writer employ his gifts with extraordinary subtlety, delicacy, and human feeling, for purposes that are ultimately anything but satiric.
Helena is the intelligent, horse-mad daughter of a British chieftain who is thrown into marriage with the man who will one day become the Roman emperor Constantius. Leaving home for lands unknown, she spends her adulthood seeking truth in the religions, mythologies, and philosophies of the declining ancient world, and becomes initiated into Christianity just as it is recognized as the religion of the Roman Empire. Helena--a novel that Evelyn Waugh considered to be his favorite, and most ambitious, work--deftly traverses the forces of corruption, treachery, enlightenment, and political intrigue of Imperial Rome as it brings to life an inspiring heroine.
Gilbert Pinfold is a reclusive Catholic novelist suffering from acute inertia. In an attempt to defeat insomnia he has been imbibing an unappetizing cocktail of bromide, chloral, and creme de menthe. He books a passage on the SS Caliban and, as it cruises towards Ceylon, rapidly slips into madness.
Almost as soon as the gangplank lifts, Pinfold hears sounds coming out of the ceiling of his cabin: wild jazz bands, barking dogs, and loud revival meetings. He is convinced that an erratic public-address system is letting him hear everything that goes on aboard ship . . . until instead of just sounds he hears voices. And not just any voices. These voices are talking, in the most frighteningly intimate way, about him!
"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. 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?
Profound hilarity ensues from the issuance of homemade currency, the staging of a "Birth Control Gala," the rightful ruler's demise at his own rather long and tiring coronation ceremonies, and a good deal more mischief.