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A Handful of Dust

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A Handful of Dust

by Evelyn Waugh

  • Used
  • fair
  • hardcover
Fair/No Jacket
Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 2 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Blackpool, Lancashire
Item Price:
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About This Item

London: Chapman and Hall, 1948. Re-issue. Cloth Bound Boards. Fair/No Jacket. 12mo - over 6¾" - 7¾" tall. 1948 re-issue of 1934 first edition. Size 12mo, 7.5" tall, 240 pages. Very dark navy cloth covered boards with gilt titles to the spine, marbled end-papers, frontispiece illustration. Condition fair, corners outer edge of front board and spine ends bumped, few tiny marks to covers, hinges cracked, ex-WH Smith library with their label to the front paste-down small mark to lower margin of pages 1-7, pages toned otherwise clean.


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). 

Read more: Identifying first editions of A Handful of Dust


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Lazarus Books Limited GB (GB)
Bookseller Inventory #
A Handful of Dust
Evelyn Waugh
Cloth Bound Boards
Book condition
Used - Fair
Jacket condition
No Jacket
Chapman and Hall
Place of Publication
Date published
12mo - over 6¾" - 7¾" tall

Terms of Sale

Lazarus Books Limited

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About the Seller

Lazarus Books Limited

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 2 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers. member since: 2007
Blackpool, Lancashire
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About Lazarus Books Limited

We are a small family business located in Blackpool, England. We stock a varied range of Antiquarian and Collectable Books; Antiquarian Holy Bibles, Fine Bindings, Literature, Poetry, Military, Travel, First Editions, Illustrated, Childrens', Signed Books and more.


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

A duodecimo is a book approximately 7 by 4.5 inches in size, or similar in size to a contemporary mass market paperback....[more]
"Cloth-bound" generally refers to a hardcover book with cloth covering the outside of the book covers. The cloth is stretched...[more]
First Edition
In book collecting, the first edition is the earliest published form of a book. A book may have more than one first edition in...[more]
The decorative application of gold or gold coloring to a portion of a book on the spine, edges of the text block, or an inlay in...[more]
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf....[more]
is a worn book that has complete text pages (including those with maps or plates) but may lack endpapers, half-title, etc....[more]
In reference to a hinge or a book's binding, means that the glue which holds the opposing leaves has allowed them to separate,...[more]
The paste-down is the portion of the endpaper that is glued to the inner boards of a hardback book. The paste-down forms an...[more]
Sometimes used as another term for dust jacket, a protective and often decorative wrapper, usually made of paper which wraps...[more]