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Evelyn Waugh's short stories are the marvelous, concentrated riffs of his comic genius, revealing in miniaturized perfection all the elements that made him the greatest comic writer of our century. We find in them Waugh's almost superhuman technical skill as a writer and his quicksilver attentiveness to the minutiae of human absurdity, as well as his worldly knowledge, his tenderness, his perceptive compassion, and his sophisticated, disabused, but nevertheless forceful idealism.
The thirty-nine stories collected here include such small masterpieces as "Mr. Loveday's Little Outing" and "Scott-King's Modern Europe"; an alternative ending to Waugh's novel A Handful of Dust ; a "missing chapter" in the life of Charles Ryder, the hero of Brideshead Revisited ; and two linked stories, remnants of an abandoned novel that Waugh considered his best writing.
This edition contains the original illustrations to "Love Among the Ruins," as well as more than thirty graphics produced by the author as an Oxford undergraduate in the 1920s.