A Handful Of Dust

by Waugh, Evelyn

British writer Evelyn Waugh’s A Handful of Dust tells the story of Tony Last, a disillusioned and soon-to-be-divorced country squire, who travels of the jungle of Brazil — only to find himself the prisoner of an unhinged settler who forces him to continuously read aloud the works of Charles Dickens. A Handful of Dust is often grouped with Waugh’s satirical novels prior to World War II; however, because of its serious undertones, it can also been seen as a transitional work to his more substantial postwar fiction. The novel has autobiographical elements, reflecting the author’s own failed marriage and his resulting South American journey in 1933-1934. But on a deeper note, A Handful of Dust illustrates the parallels the savage nature of London society with uncivilized barbarity of the jungle.

Waugh first used Tony as the protagonist in his 1933 short story titled The Man Who Liked Dickens. The piece was published in the US in Hearst's International–Cosmopolitan and in Britain in Nash's Pall Mall Magazine. Tony’s story was then serialized — after much revision and expansion — under the title A Flat in London. When it came time to publish the story as a novel, Waugh selected the title A Handful of Dust, inspired by a line in T. S. Eliot's The Waste Land: "I will show you fear in a handful of dust."

Upon publication, the critical reception of A Handful of Dust was less than impressive. Yet the novel was and has remained popular with the public and has never been out of print. A Handful of Dust is ranked 34th on Modern Library’s “100 Best” English-language novels of the 20th century. It is also listed as one of TIME’s “100 Best Novels” (since 1923). 

First Edition Identification and Notes

Chapman and Hall first published A Handful of Dust in 1934. First editions are bound in red and black “snakeskin” cloth with gilt lettering on the spine and have no additional printings listed on the copyright page.

Other Collectible or Notable Editions

Farrar & Rinehart published the first US edition of A Handful of Dust in New York in 1934.

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cover of A Handful Of Dust.

A Handful Of Dust.

by Waugh, Evelyn

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Raptis Rare Books
Published
1934
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$28,500.00

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London: Chapman and Hall, 1934. First edition of the author's masterpiece. Octavo, original cloth. A near fine copy in the rare dust jacket which shows some wear and tear. Signed by Evelyn Waugh. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. Rare especially in the original dust jacket and signed. Few writers have walked the line between farce and… Read more
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A HANDFUL OF DUST

by WAUGH, Evelyn:

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Lucius Books
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First edition, first printing
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$23,282.25

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London: Chapman and Hall. September 1934. First edition, first printing. First edition, first printing. Publisher's original snake-skin effect cloth with titles in gilt to the spine, in dustwrapper and retaining the original wraparound band. A lovely near fine copy, the binding very bright and square with a bump to the fore-edge. The contents are very clean throughout and without… Read more
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A Handful of Dust

by Waugh, Evelyn

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curtis paul books inc.
Published
1934
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Very Good+ in Very Good+ dust jacket
Edition
First Edition
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$15,999.99

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London: Chapman & Hall, Ltd.. Very Good+ in Very Good+ dust jacket. 1934. First Edition. Hardcover. Rare first edition copy. Black/red cloth with unrubbed gilt lettering to spine. Foxing to text block edge; some foxing starting to occasional pages. One folded corner. Corners very mildly softened. The original jacket in mylar has been professionally repaired. Price on… Read more
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cover of A Handful of Dust.

A Handful of Dust.

by WAUGH, Evelyn.

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Peter Harrington
Published
1934
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$12,270.38

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London: Chapman & Hall, 1934. A transatlantic old-money association First edition, first impression, in the scarce jacket, this an excellent association copy, from the library of Waugh's friend Louis Auchincloss, with his bookplate and blindstamp on the front free endpaper. Waugh and Auchincloss were both acerbic critics of the high society that was their subject matter and milieux: this… Read more
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cover of A Handful of Dust.

A Handful of Dust.

by WAUGH, Evelyn.

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Peter Harrington
Published
1934
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London: Chapman & Hall, 1934. Uncorrected proof copy of what is "now widely regarded as Waugh's masterpiece" (ODNB). A Handful of Dust is "a satire on the collapse of civilized values, concentrating on the barbarism of contemporary sexual mores and divorce" (ibid.). Just one other proof copy has been traced at auction, that being Waugh's own, with his manuscript… Read more
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A Handful Of Dust.

by Waugh, Evelyn

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Raptis Rare Books
Published
1934
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$850.00

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London: Chapman and Hall, 1934. First edition of the author's classic work. Octavo, original cloth. In near fine condition, contemporary name to the front free endpaper. A very sharp example. Few writers have walked the line between farce and tragedy as nimbly as Evelyn Waugh, who employed the conventions of the comic novel to chip away at the already… Read more
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A Handful of Dust

by Waugh, Evelyn

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J. Mercurio Books, Maps, & Prints
Published
1934
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Near Fine
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$800.00

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Farrar & Rinehart. First American Edition. DJ in archival cover chip, $2.50 price on upper flap. Orange cloth with gilt lettering on front cover and spine. Blind stamped flower in center of front cover. . Near Fine. Hardcover. 1934.
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A Handful of Dust

by WAUGH, Evelyn

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Between the Covers- Rare Books, Inc. ABAA
Published
1934
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Near Fine
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$775.00

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New York: Farrar & Rinehart, 1934. Hardcover. Near Fine/Very Good. First American edition. Shadow on front pastedown from a removed bookplate, else near fine in slightly spine-toned very good or better dust jacket.
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A Handful of Dust

by WAUGH, EVELYN

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Peter L. Stern & Company, Inc.
Published
1934
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First American Edition. Very good in dust jacket.
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New York: Farrar & Rinehart, 1934. First American Edition. Very good in dust jacket.
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cover of A Handful of Dust

A Handful of Dust

by Waugh, Evelyn

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Possum Books
Published
1934
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Near Fine
Edition
1st Edition
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New York: Farrar & Rinehart, 1934. 1st Edition . Hardcover. Near Fine/Very Good. Orange cloth with gilt lettering and small floral design blind-stamped on front cover. Jacket bright but frayed at extremities of spine and corners. A very collectible copy of this Waugh masterpiece.
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cover of A Handful of Dust

A Handful of Dust

by Waugh, Evelyn

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Denali Bay LLC
Published
1934
Condition
Good+
Edition
The New Classics Series
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New York, NY: Little, Brown & Co, 1934. The New Classics Series. Hardcover. Good+. Unclipped dust jacket, tan with chips on top and bottom edges and spine. Good copy in the original red cloth boards. Slight dust-dulling to the spine bands and panel edges. Previous owner's name on ffep. Pages are otherwise clean and unmarked.
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cover of A Handful of Dust

A Handful of Dust

by WAUGH, Evelyn

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Between the Covers- Rare Books, Inc. ABAA
Published
1964
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Fine
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$400.00

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London: Chapman and Hall, 1964. Softcover. Fine. Uncorrected proof of this re-issue. Fine in printed purple wrappers.
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A Handful of Dust

by Waugh, Evelyn

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Alexander's Books
Published
1934
Condition
Good
Edition
1st Edition 1st Printing
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$377.55

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London : Chapman & Hall, 1934. 1st Edition 1st Printing. Hardback. Good. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. First edition, first printing hardback Red and black marble effect cloth gilt 348 pp .plus 3 pp publisher's adverts Frontispiece by J.D.M. Harvey Good condition (corners rubbed and part of spine lettering) No dust jacket. Original owner's name… Read more
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A Handful of Dust

by Waugh, Evelyn

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The Chatham Bookseller, LLC
Published
1934
Condition
Very Good-
Edition
First Edition
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$300.00

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New York: Farrar & Rinehart, 1934. 308 pp. Salmon colored cloth with gilt embossed lettering and blind embossed design on front. Gilt lettering on spine.Binding and text block are tight and square. Light toning to the pages. Publisher's colophone on copyright page. Loss of cloth on the lower spine edge, fraying to the upper edge.Othewrise clean, unmarked copy Unclipped… Read more
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A Handful of Dust

by Evelyn Waugh

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J. Mercurio Books, Maps, & Prints
Published
1934
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Good
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$250.00

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Jonathan Cape. First Edition. Hardcover. Condition: Good. No Jacket. 1st Edition. Square and tight, prior owner name on front end page, blue green top stain, generally a beautiful copy. . Good. Hardcover. 1934.
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A Handful of Dust

by WAUGH, Evelyn

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Between the Covers- Rare Books, Inc. ABAA
Published
1934
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Very Good
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New York: Farrar & Rinehart, 1934. Hardcover. Very Good/Very Good. First American edition. Bookplate on rear pastedown, else very good in near very good dustwrapper that has been affixed to the endpapers.
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A Handful of Dust

by Waugh, Evelyn

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J. Mercurio Books, Maps, & Prints
Published
1945
Condition
Fine
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New Directions. Unclipped DJ in archival cover chip tiny tear and folds. 1st "New Classics" edition. Stated first published in the New Classics Series. . Fine. Hardcover. 1945.
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A Handful Of Dust

by Waugh, Evelyn

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Arroyo Seco Books
Published
1934
Condition
Very Good
Edition
First American Edition 1st Printing
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$165.00

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New York: Farrar & Rinehart, 1934. First American Edition 1st Printing. Hardcover. Very Good/No Jacket. 308 Pp. Peach Cloth, Gilt And Stamped In Blind, Green Topstain. First American Printing, With F & R Logo On Copyright Page.Light Wear, Cover Gilt Brilliant, Spine Gilt Clear And Complete But Weak, Spine Cloth With Some Fraying, Small Frays At Tips, Hinges… Read more
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A HANDFUL OF DUST.

by Evelyn Waugh

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Giovanni Coisson
Published
1934
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$161.91

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London: Chapman and Hall, 1934. First Edition, Fifth impression: September 1934. Un volume (19m5x13 cm) di 348-(3) pagine. In antiporta incisione di Hetton Abbey. Cartonato editoriale con titolo dorato al dorso (no dust jacket). Condizioni molto buone.
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cover of A Handful of Dust

A Handful of Dust

by

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Better World Books Ltd
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Used - Good
ISBN
9780413460004
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$141.82

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Used - Good. Ships from the UK. Former library book; may include library markings. Used book that is in clean, average condition without any missing pages.
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A Handful of Dust

by Evelyn Waugh

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after-words bookstore
Published
1944
Condition
Fair
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$95.00

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Boston: Little, Brown And Company, 1944. 308pp. Original red cloth covered boards. Stated "Republished June 1944". Previous owner's name on FEP. Inner pages are clean (unmarked) but yellowed with age. Hinges are creased and text block is pulling away from boards but pages are still secure. Covers are scuffed & finger soiled, spine sunned, bumping to head/heel of… Read more
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A Handful of Dust

by Waugh, Evelyn

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Wonder Book
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Collectible - Acceptable
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$75.95

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Farrar & Rinehart. Collectible - Acceptable. New York: Farrar & Rinehard, 1934. First American edition. 8vo hardcover. 308pp. Fair book, no dust jacket. Sunned, quite shelfworn, front board cloth wrinkled, and gilt titling worn away. Spine toned, cocked, and tips frayed. Corners bumped. Toning to page edges, and dust staining to top edge. Previous owner's name blacked out… Read more
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cover of A Handful of Dust

A Handful of Dust

by Evelyn Waugh

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Jason Boies
Published
1945
Condition
Very Good+
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$75.00

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New Directions Book, New York 1945. Very good condition. Owner's name on first page. Dust jacket with some chipping and tearing on back bottom.
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cover of Handful Of Dust

Handful Of Dust

by Waugh, Evelyn

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GridFreed LLC
Published
1988-08-02
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New
ISBN
9780140111507
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$74.15

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Penguin UK, 1988-08-02. Paperback. New. New.
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A Handful of Dust

by Waugh, Evelyn

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GridFreed LLC
Published
1951-01-02
Condition
New
ISBN
9780140008227
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$70.17

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Penguin UK, 1951-01-02. Mass Market Paperback. New. New.
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A Handful of Dust.

by WAUGH, Evelyn.

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Anthony C. Hall
Published
1973
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$62.93

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Paperback. 1973. Novel. First Draft screenplay by Alan Bennett. JL VIC Films Ltd. December 1973. 123pp mimeographed, 4to folder, card covers, December1973. very good .
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cover of HANDFUL OF DUST

HANDFUL OF DUST

by WAUGH EVELYN

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Vikram Jain Books
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New
ISBN
9780316216265
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BACK BAY. New. 8.31 x 5.51 cm. HANDFUL OF DUST WAUGH EVELYN
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cover of HANDFUL OF DUST

HANDFUL OF DUST

by WAUGH EVELYN

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9780316216265
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cover of HANDFUL OF DUST

HANDFUL OF DUST

by WAUGH EVELYN

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9780316216265
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cover of HANDFUL OF DUST

HANDFUL OF DUST

by WAUGH EVELYN

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9780316216265
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cover of A Handful of Dust

A Handful of Dust

by Waugh, Evelyn

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Globalbookscare
Published
2012-12-11
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Good
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9780316216272
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A Handful of Dust

by Waugh, Evelyn

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GridFreed LLC
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2012-12-11
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9780316216265
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cover of A Handful of Dust

A Handful of Dust

by Waugh, Evelyn

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GridFreed LLC
Published
1999-09-01
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New
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9780316926058
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cover of A Handful of Dust

A Handful of Dust

by Evelyn Waugh

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Discover Books
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GOOD
ISBN
9780141193458
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Penguin Classic. Hardcover. GOOD. Spine creases, wear to binding and pages from reading. May contain limited notes, underlining or highlighting that does affect the text. Possible ex library copy, will have the markings and stickers associated from the library. Accessories such as CD, codes, toys, may not be included.
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cover of A Handful of Dust (Everyman's Library)

A Handful of Dust (Everyman's Library)

by Waugh, Evelyn

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Bonita
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9780375414206
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A Handful of Dust

by Waugh, Evelyn

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The Chatham Bookseller, LLC
Published
1934
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Good
Edition
First Edition
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$45.00

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New York: Farrar & Rinehart, 1934. 308 pp. Salmon colored cloth with gilt embossed lettering and blind embossed design on front. Gilt lettering on spine.Binding and text block are tight and square. Top edge stained green; fore-edge deckled. Publisher's colophone on copyright page. Binding is rubbed and frayed at corners and extremities, especially spine… Read more
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cover of A Handful of Dust

A Handful of Dust

by Evelyn Waugh

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9780760725177
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A Handful Of Dust

by Waugh, Evelyn

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Handful Of Dust

by Waugh, Evelyn

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9780140111507
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A Handful of Dust

by Evelyn Waugh

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9780316216272
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A Handful of Dust

by Waugh, Evelyn

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9780316926058
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A Handful of Dust

by Waugh, Evelyn

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Wonder Book
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The New Classics / New Directions, 1945. Used - Acceptable. Acceptable condition. Acceptable dust jacket. Dampstained. Page edges soiled. (Vintage books, antique books, LGBT authors, British literature, humor and satire)
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cover of A Handful of Dust

A Handful of Dust

by Waugh, Evelyn

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J. E. MILES, A BOOKSELLER
Published
1962
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Good
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9780316926058
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Little Brown and Co.. Good. 1962. Soft Cover. 0316926051 (O154) .
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A Handful of Dust

by Waugh, Evelyn

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J. E. MILES, A BOOKSELLER
Published
1988
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Little, Brown. Good. 1988. Soft Cover. (M163) .
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cover of A Handful of Dust

A Handful of Dust

by Waugh, Evelyn

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J. E. MILES, A BOOKSELLER
Published
1977
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9780316926058
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A Handful of Dust

by Waugh, Evelyn

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2012-12-11
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Used:Good
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9780316216272
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cover of A Handful of Dust (Everyman's Library)

A Handful of Dust (Everyman's Library)

by Waugh, Evelyn

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9780375414206
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cover of A Handful of Dust

A Handful of Dust

by Evelyn Waugh

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2012-12-11
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cover of A Handful of Dust

A Handful of Dust

by Waugh, Evelyn

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Published
1999-09-01
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9780316926058
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cover of A Handful of Dust

A Handful of Dust

by Evelyn Waugh

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Eaglestones
Published
2018
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As New
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Reprint
ISBN
9780241341100
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International: Penguin English Library, 2018 "This book begins with standard Waugh farce: a pin-headed society wife, Brenda Last, takes a lover to occupy her afternoons. But the effect on her husband Tony and son John is devastating, and the book moves quickly from farce to tragedy. Waugh never abandons the ridiculous - no one else would have placed his hero… Read more
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