Evelyn Waugh: Decline and Fall

(655 words)
  • Ian Littlewood (University of Sussex)

Decline and Fall (1928), Evelyn Waugh's first published novel, tells the story of Paul Pennyfeather. Unjustly sent down from Oxford for indecent behaviour, he embarks on a series of adventures which take him first to Llanabba Castle, a grotesque private school in Wales, and then into the fashionable world of Margot Beste-Chetwynde, the rich and glamorous mother of one of his pupils. On the point of getting married to Margot, he is arrested for involvement in the white slave traffic which is the source of her wealth. After a spell in jail, he is released through the agency of Margot's new husband, the Home Secretary Sir Humphrey Maltravers, whereupon he resumes his career as an Oxford undergraduate, studying to become a …

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Littlewood, Ian. "Decline and Fall". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 July 2001
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=5657, accessed 05 July 2015.]