Cover image for The complete stories of Evelyn Waugh.
The complete stories of Evelyn Waugh.
Waugh, Evelyn, 1903-1966.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Short stories
First American edition.
Publication Information:
Boston : Little, Brown, and Co., [1998]

Physical Description:
535 pages ; 25 cm
The Stories: The balance -- A house of gentlefolks -- The manager of "The Kremlin" -- Love in the slump -- Too much tolerance -- Excursion in Reality -- Incident in Azania -- Bella Fleace gave a party -- Cruise -- The man who liked Dickens -- out of depth -- By speical request -- Period piece -- On guard -- Mr. Loveday's little outing -- Winner takes all -- An Englishman's home -- The sympathetic passenger -- My father's house -- Lucy Simmonds -- Charles Ryder's schooldays -- Scott-King's modern Europe -- tactical exercise -- compassion -- Love among the ruins -- Basil Seal rides again ; Juvenilia: The curse of the horse race -- Fidon's confetion -- Multa pecunia -- Fragment of a novel -- Essay -- The house: an anti-climax ; Oxford stories: Portrait of young man with career -- Antony, who sought things that were lost -- Edward of unique achievement -- Fragments: they dine with the past -- Conspiracy to murder -- Unacademic exercise: a nature story -- The national game.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
X Adult Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



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. The Complete Stories is a dazzling distillation of Waugh's genius-abundant evidence that one of the twentieth century's most admired and enjoyed English novelists was also a master of the short form.

Author Notes

Born in Hampstead and educated at Oxford University, Evelyn Waugh came from a literary family. His elder brother, Alec was a novelist, and his father, Arthur Waugh, was the influential head of a large publishing house. Even in his school days, Waugh showed sings of the profound belief in Catholicism and brilliant wit that were to mark his later years.

Waugh began publishing his novels in the late 1920's. He joined the Royal Marines at the beginning of World War II and was one of the first to volunteer for commando service. In 1944 he survived a plane crash in Yugoslavia and, while hiding in a cave, corrected the proofs of one of his novels.

Waugh's early novels, Decline and Fall (1927), Vile Bodies (1930), and A Handful of Dust (1934), established him as one of the funniest and most brilliant satirists the British had seen in years. He was particularly skillful at poking fun at the scramble for prominence among the upper classes and the struggle between the generations. He lived for a while in Hollywood, about which he wrote The Loved One (1948), a scathing attack on the United States's overly sentimental funeral practices. His greatest works, however, are Brideshead Revisited (1945), which has been made into a highly popular television miniseries, and the trilogy Sword of Honor (1965), composed of Men at Arms (1952), Officers and Gentlemen (1955), and The End of the Battle (1961).

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Waugh (1903^-66) was a prominent British satirist, author of such brilliant novels as Brideshead Revisited (1945) and The Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold (1957). Although not really known as a short-story writer, this first-time gathering of his work in that form is incontrovertible evidence of his short-story writing ability. These 39 stories span Waugh's writing career, and to a one they demonstrate his trademark wit and sophistication. "The Man Who Liked Dickens" is quintessential Waugh; even in a story set in the South American rain forest, his tone is of utmost urbanity! This delightful story features Mr. McMaster, who has lived by simple means on his homestead in uncharted Amazon territory for decades; and one day a lost and sick explorer stumbles onto the property. McMaster nurses him back to health, only to keep him captive so the "prisoner" can read McMaster daily doses of Charles Dickens. This is Waugh's dark comedy at its keenest; he will be enjoyed by those who like Ronald Firbank and Saki. --Brad Hooper

Publisher's Weekly Review

"It seems to me that Nature, like a lazy author, will round off abruptly into a short story what she obviously intended to be the opening of a novel," observes the Oxford-dropout narrator of "A House of Gentlefolk," and the same might be said of a handful of the 40-odd short pieces in this lavishly entertaining collection that resemble sketches and false starts toward longer works. Among them are two intriguing chapters of Work Suspended, a novel that Waugh abandoned in the mid-1940s, and his Oxford writings and juvenilia. But at his best, Waugh is a blazing practitioner of the short story, for it proves an ideal framework for a style that eschews the psychoanalytical investigations of modernist writers like Joyce or Woolf for taut social commentary, stylized characters and hilarious, dramatic conceits. Few aspects of life in England between the wars escape Waugh's blistering attention, be they the colonial blunderings of innocents abroad, the manners of genteel country families or the antics of his own peers, such as the supercilious Bright Young Thing in "Out of Depth" who antagonizes a magician he meets at a London dinner party and is transported to the 25th century. Waugh loves visiting cruelties upon his characters, like the cuckolded London dilettante in "The Man Who Liked Dickens" who funds an ill-fated expedition to the Amazon, is imprisoned by a Kurtz-like chief and forced to read Dickens to his captor. His misanthropy notwithstanding, Waugh is so adept at punchy openings, deadpan zingers and wickedly ironic situations, and so graceful is his use of language, that this volume should serve, at a time of renewed interest in the short story, as primer on the infinite possibilities of the form. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

In his portrait of Evelyn Waugh (1903-66), Wykes (literature, Dartmouth Coll.) strikes a balance between chronicling his subject's life and examining his work. Wykes traces Waugh's emotional and creative life from birthÄhe was the second son of well-known publisher and critic Arthur Waugh (a "literary businessman")Äthrough adulthood. The elder Waugh made no secret of the fact that his firstborn son Alec (also a novelist) was his favorite. This early rejection, Wykes argues, helped cultivate the cynicism and dark humor that were so much a part of young Evelyn's Decline and Fall (1928) and A Handful of Dust (1934). Waugh attended Oxford, worked as a teacher and journalist, and married twice. In 1930, in perhaps the most pivotal move in his life, he converted to Roman Catholicism. This conversion, Waugh believed, helped impose an "eternal order" on the "frantic aimlessness" of his life and his workÄespecially his "eschatological" masterpiece Brideshead Revisited (1945). A concise, readable piece of Waugh scholarship that deserves a place in all library collections; highly recommended. [The Complete Stories of Evelyn Waugh was published in September by Little, Brown, ISBN 0-316-92546-2, $24.95.ÄEd.]ÄDiane Gardner Premo, Rochester P.L., NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.