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' - but unlike the others, this is a collection of Waugh's better-known short stories, including 'Mr Loveday's Outing', which surprises the reader with a horrifying twist in the almost-final sentence... and is for that reason quite unforgettable.
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 very good condition, with an unclipped dust jacket which shows few signs of wear apart from some slight tearing at the top corners, the top of the spine, one small tear at the top front, and another on the back flap. Its spine is very browned, and there are brown spots on the front, but otherwise it has worn well. The book itself is bound in navy blue cloth with gilt titles on the spine, and shows no signs of wear or use externally. Blue marbled endpapers. The binding is firm and all pages clean and bright. Page tops dark blue. No foxing. A previous owner's name is neatly stamped at the top of the title page.