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A Handful of Dust

A Handful of Dust

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A Handful of Dust

by Waugh, Evelyn

  • Used
  • Near Fine
  • Hardcover
Near Fine/very good
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About This Item

New York: Little, Brown and Company, 1934. Early Edition. Hardcover. Near fine/very good. First New Classics edition of A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh.. Octavo, 308pp. Tan hardcover, title stamped in red on spine. Stated "A Handful of Dust was first published in the New Classics Series in 1945" on copyright page. Slight lean to text block, faint wear to edges of spine and front cover. Some previous ownership notations in pen throughout. In the publisher's dust jacket, price-clipped, some chipping to corners and edges, notably the spine. Sunned spine, a few stains from previous tape repairs. A very good copy of a classic satirical novel. Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966) was a renowned English novelist known for his distinctive satirical style. Educated at Oxford, Waugh gained early recognition with his debut novel, "Decline and Fall" (1928), and went on to produce a series of critically acclaimed works, including this, "A Handful of Dust" (1934), and "Brideshead Revisited" (1945).


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). 

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The First Edition Rare Books, LLC US (US)
Bookseller's Inventory #
A Handful of Dust
Waugh, Evelyn
First New Classics edition of A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh.
Book Condition
Used - Near Fine
Jacket Condition
very good
Quantity Available
Early Edition
Little, Brown and Company
Place of Publication
New York
Date Published
first edition Bridehead Revisited, first edition Evelyn Waugh, the loved one Waugh, black mischief Waugh, signed book Evelyn Waugh, Decline and Fall Waugh, A Handful of Dust Waugh, Vile Bodies Waugh, Scoop a novel about journalists, The Loved One Wau

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About the Seller

The First Edition Rare Books, LLC

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Biblio member since 2017
Cincinnati, Ohio

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Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

Sometimes used as another term for dust jacket, a protective and often decorative wrapper, usually made of paper which wraps...
Damage done to a book cover or dust jacket caused by exposure to direct sunlight. Very strong fluorescent light can cause slight...
The collective of the top, fore and bottom edges of the text block of the book, being that part of the edges of the pages of a...
Copyright page
The page in a book that describes the lineage of that book, typically including the book's author, publisher, date of...
Text Block
Most simply the inside pages of a book. More precisely, the block of paper formed by the cut and stacked pages of a book....
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf....
A defect in which small pieces are missing from the edges; fraying or small pieces of paper missing the edge of a paperback, or...
Another of the terms referring to page or book size, octavo refers to a standard printer's sheet folded four times, producing...