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' - a darkly comic tale, set on a fictional African island where civil war, followed by an attempt at modernisation and a coup d'etat, finally leads to a takeover by the League of Nations.
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 for its age, with an excellent (unclipped) dust jacket showing very few signs of wear, and only some darkening of the spine. The book itself is bound in navy cloth with gilt title etc on the spine, and shows almost no external sign of wear or use. Dark-blue marbled endpapers, with a Foyles label at front bottom L/H corner. The binding is firm, with no loose pages; all pages clean and bright. Page tops dark blue. Some foxing on the other two edges of the text block, but no migration into the body of the book. A very nice copy.