- Hardcover: 912 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Classics (1 Dec. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0141193557
- ISBN-13: 978-0141193557
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 5.8 x 20.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 476,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Sword of Honour (24) (Penguin Classics Waugh 24) Hardcover – 1 Dec 2011
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More About the Author
About the Author
Evelyn Waugh was born in Hampstead in 1903, second son of Arthur Waugh, publisher and literary critic, and brother of Alec Waugh, the popular novelist. He was educated at Lancing and Hertford College, Oxford, where he read Modern History. In 1928 he published his first work, a life of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, and his first novel, Decline and Fall, which was soon followed by Vile Bodies (1930), Black Mischief (1932), A Handful of Dust (1934) and Scoop (1938). Waugh travelled extensively and also wrote several travel books, as well as a biography of Edmund Campion and Ronald Knox.
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Top Customer Reviews
It is semi-autobiographical, dealing with Waugh's experiences in WWII through the fictional life of Guy Crouchback, a socially inept aristocrat whose only real feeling is about his Roman Catholic faith. Waugh states in the introduction that he intended it to be his thoughts about the War, but on re-reading it, realises it is his eulogy to the Catholic church. I would say it's about fifty fifty and none the worse for that.
There are bright splashes of the satire to be found in Scoop and The Loved Ones here along with the tragedy and cynicism about society that colour A Handful of Dust and Brideshead Revisited, all set against the war being played out in London, Crete and the Balkans. It is touching and tragic and blackly funny, particularly the segment where Guy is sent for training on the isle of Mugg. A great book.
I found 'Officers & Gentlemen', the middle section of the three volumes quite by serendipity, long ago whilst on an extended holiday in Tobago, West Indies. Having previously read none of EW's work and with the requisite amount of time on my hands, I became utterly absorbed; and slightly irritated. It was a unique tale, and yet unsettling for some reason. I longed to read the first & last books in the series. Back in the UK and having sought out and read the rest of the trilogy, I began to understand something of the mastery of the language that this man possessed. His work demands much of the reader, and if the reader cares to respond, he or she will not be disappointed. I am no longer irritated or unsettled by his writing.
Funny, bitter, perceptive, witty, dry, deeply enjoyable but above all else, beautifully written.
I wonder how many of the great characters are also based on real people. I really want Jumbo Trotter, Apthorpe, Ludovic, Box-Bender, Trimmer Virginia, Peregrine, and - of course - Brigadier Ritchie-Hook to be real characters, as I do, the denizens of Bellamy's club.
In April 2013, I finally read Brideshead Revisited and was captivated from start to finish. You probably don't need me to tell you it's a masterpiece. Before embarking on Sword of Honour, I would never have believed that Evelyn Waugh could have written two masterpieces. He has. Brideshead Revisited and Sword of Honour. That's in addition to all the other wonderful fiction and non-fiction.
Epic and extraordinary. You really should read Sword of Honour. A wonderful book. 5/5
NOTE ABOUT DIFFERENT EDITIONS:
Sword of Honour was originally published as three separate volumes Men At Arms (1952), Officers and Gentlemen (1955), and Unconditional Surrender (1961), however Waugh extensively revised these books to create a one-volume version "Sword of Honour" in 1965, and it is this version that Waugh wanted people to read.
The Penguin Classics version of "Sword of Honour", contains numerous informative and interesting footnotes and an introduction by Angus Calder, each time Waugh changed the text there was a note.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is one of my favourite books (indeed my 'comfort' book) and Evelyn Waugh one of my favourite authors. Read morePublished 1 month ago by terry symonds
A great trilogy, to which the reader can return time after time.Published 2 months ago by Llaf Divad
Interesting insight into what the war was like for the officer class who were not in the front line. Plenty of drama but not of the front line shooting variety. Read morePublished 3 months ago by oneillco
Typical Waugh. Good to have 3 novels in 1 book. Good read and a fairly accurate comment on Britain (Civilian and Military) during the second world war.Published 4 months ago by Arthur Pittams
Sword of Honour is the title encompassing the consolidated version of the trilogy of books originally published separately as "Men at Arms", "Officers and... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Kindle Customer
This book is so good even on rereading years after the first time. Its hard to put your finger on why its so enjoyable (yet challenging. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Nippy Sweetie