Decline and Fall


Just work, good healthy toil. You have led too sheltered a life, Paul. Perhaps I am to blame. It will do you the world of good to face facts for a bit - look at life in the raw, you know.

Expelled from Oxford for indecent behaviour, Paul Pennyfeather is oddly unsurprised to find himself qualifying for the position of schoolmaster at Llanabba Castle. His colleagues are an assortment of misfits, including Prendy (plagued by doubts) and Captain Grimes, who is always in the soup (or just plain drunk).

Then Sports Day arrives, and with it the delectable Margot Beste-Chetwynde, floating on a scented breeze. As the farce unfolds and the young run riot, no one is safe, least of all Paul.

As fresh and vibrant today as it was when it was first published in 1928, Decline and Fall is a masterpiece of social satire, a hearty, witty, playful lampooning of the social mores of 1920's England. Nothing and nobody escapes Waugh's penetrating gaze in this iconoclastic riot of a novel.

Taking its title from Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Evelyn Waugh's first, funniest novel immediately caught the ear of the public with his account of an ingénu abroad in the decadent confusion of 1920s high society. Edited with an introduction by David Bradshaw for Penguin Classics, this edition of a modern tour de force shines a light on the comic genius of one of the Twentieth-Century's most gifted writers.

 'The funniest book I have ever read.'  - The Times

'His first, most perfect novel...a ruthlessly comic plot.'  - The Guardian