The success of Evelyn Waugh's novels, all published by Chapman & Hall, led the company to issue a 'uniform' edition in the late 1940s, consisting of the seven best-known titles. Here we have one of this set - which also included 'Decline and Fall', 'Scoop' and 'Put Out More Flags' - it is often grouped with Waugh's early, satirical comic novels but has serious undertones, and has been regarded as a transitional work leading towards Waugh's Catholic postwar fiction. Set in the Brazilian jungle, it tells of Tony Last, a contented but shallow English country squire, who, disillusioned, and betrayed by his wife, joins an expedition to the Brazilian jungle, only to find himself trapped in a remote outpost as the prisoner of a maniac.
Arthur Evelyn St. John Waugh (1903–1966) was an English writer of novels, biographies and travel books, 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). Waugh is recognised as one of the great prose stylists of the English language in the 20th century A perceptive writer who used the experiences and the wide range of personal contacts in his fictional works, generally to humorous effect, his detachment was such that he even fictionalised his own mental breakdown in the early 1950s. Generally considered an unpleasant man, beneath this public mask, Waugh was variously described as "a dedicated artist and a man of earnest faith, struggling against the dryness of his soul", "the greatest novelist of my generation" (Graham Greene), and "the grand old mandarin of modern British prose" (obituary, Time Magazine). However, "What nobody remembers about Evelyn is that everything with him was jokes. Everything. That's what none of the people who wrote about him seem to have taken into account at all" (Nancy Mitford).
Our copy is in generally good condition, with a dust jacket (unclipped) which has suffered considerable loss, and is now neatly pasted on to a white paper backing. The book itself is bound in navy blue cloth with gilt titles etc to the spine, and shows few exterior signs of wear apart from light bumping of corners and minimal shelf wear to top & bottom of the spine. Page tops are dark blue. Endpapers also dark blue (marbled). There is no foxing. Inside, the binding is firm and all pages clean and bright.