By Evelyn Waugh
After seven years of marriage, the gorgeous girl Brenda final has grown tired of lifestyles at Hetton Abbey, the Gothic mansion that's the satisfaction and pleasure of her husband, Tony. She drifts into an affair with the shallow socialite John Beaver and forsakes Tony for the Belgravia set. In a singular that mixes tragedy, comedy, and savage irony, Evelyn Waugh indelibly captures the irresponsible temper of the "crazy and sterile generation" among the wars.
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Extra resources for A Handful of Dust
Issac Newton, presiding at Royal Society meeting, in Cane Court, engraving. Bettmann/CORBIS. Reproduced by permission. Title page from Faerie Queen, first edition, by Edmund Spenser, printed for William Ponsonbie. Bettmann/CORBIS. Reproduced by permission. —Queen Elizabeth visiting Hunsdon House, engraving. Bettmann/CORBIS. Reproduced by permission. Vitruvian Man, famous drawing of nude man with arms extended at different angles, within a circle, drawing by Leonardo da Vinci (ink and paper have turned brownish).
Though set in these far-flung places, the play invokes a foundation myth of the British themselves. According to this myth, Rome's founder, Aeneas, had a descendant, Brut or Brit (hence the name Britain), who led survivors of the Trojan War from Rome north to found London, or New Troy. By Shakespeare's day this myth had become entrenched. Thus, many of the English saw themselves as successors to Troy and as descendants of the Roman empire. Events in History at the Time the Play Takes Place Collapse of the Roman Republic.
Hulton Getty/Archive Photos. Reproduced by permission. —Locke, John (oval format, threequarter view from his left), painting. The Library of Congress. —Issac Newton, presiding at Royal Society meeting, in Cane Court, engraving. Bettmann/CORBIS. Reproduced by permission. Title page from Faerie Queen, first edition, by Edmund Spenser, printed for William Ponsonbie. Bettmann/CORBIS. Reproduced by permission. —Queen Elizabeth visiting Hunsdon House, engraving. Bettmann/CORBIS. Reproduced by permission.
A Handful of Dust by Evelyn Waugh