Black Mischief (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 29 Jun 2000
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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). During these years he travelled extensively in most parts of Europe, the Near East, Africa and tropical America, and published a number of travel books, including Labels (1930), Remote People, (1931), Ninety-Two Days (1934) and Waugh in Abyssinia (1936). In 1939 he was commissioned in the Royal Marines and later transferred to the Royal Horse Guards, serving in the Middle East and in Yugoslavia. In 1942 he published Put Out More Flags and then in 1945 Brideshead Revisited. When the Going was Good and The Loved One preceded Men at Arms, which came out in 1952, the first volume of 'The Sword of Honour' trilogy, and won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize. The other volumes, Officers and Gentlemen and Unconditional Surrender, followed in 1955 and 1961. In 1964 he published his last book, A Little Learning, the first volume of an autobiography. Evelyn Waugh was received into the Roman Catholic Church in 1930 and his biography of the Elizabethan Jesuit martyr, Edmund Campion, was awarded the Hawthornden Prize in 1936. In 1959 he published the official Life of Ronald Knox. For many years he lived with his wife and six children in the West Country. He died in 1966.
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Top Customer Reviews
Do not imagine for one moment that Evelyn Waugh has written this in an attempt to show that Europeans are, in some way, superior to Africa or that they should be involved in running a country they have no understanding of. Indeed, it is certainly the Europeans on which his sharpest satire is aimed. At the capital Debra Dowa, the diplomatic powers are utterly ridiculous. The English 'Envoy Extraordinary' is more concerned with growing asparagus and playing in the bathtub than any official papers; while attache the Hon William Bland has forgotten the outcome of the battle between hearing the news and climbing the stairs. The French are involved in attempting to discover what the English are up to; imagining all sorts of plots and ciphers which don't exist, and corruption and incompetence are everywhere When Basil Seal, always "in revolutions and murders and things" decides he is bored with London, he uses a vague aquaintance with Seth to become his right hand man. This book is absolutely outrageous, very funny and shows why Evelyn Waugh is still one of the greatest writers this country has ever produced.
As one would expect, the dialogue is acutely observed and very funny at times, but most modern readers may well want more than that to sustain interest. If you're new to Evelyn Waugh, try one of his other books as a starter.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
If you want an enjoyable read and not too worried about being non PC about the Africans, Waugh is almost at his satirical best. How true and this was written in the 1930's!!Published 2 months ago by Patrick James Carter
Like him or loathe him, Evelyn Waugh is a stylistic genius. This is the third time I've had to buy this book because friends and family don't borrow it, they keep it. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Old Hand
No one escapes the mocking wit and how we enjoy it as politically incorrect as it is possible to bePublished 5 months ago by Alan Spencer
One of the great novels of the 20th century. The accuracy of the satire is unerring yet the book is one of the funniest every written. 20th century literature at its best.Published 9 months ago by Cicero
Funny witty not politically correct by today's standards. A great read. Evelyn Waugh is an underestimated writer I'm looking forward to reading more of his e.Published 12 months ago by sharon byfield
ery interesting as a oentary on prewar attitudes and the E Afrian life at the tie.Published 12 months ago by C.H.Bulman