As fresh and vibrant today as it was when it was first published in 1928, Decline and Fall is a masterpiece of social satire, a hearty, witty, playful lampooning of the social mores of 1920’s England. Nothing and nobody escapes Waugh’s penetrating gaze in this iconoclastic riot of a novel.
Sent down from Oxford for indecent behaviour, Paul Pennyfeather is oddly unsurprised to find himself qualifying for the position of schoolmaster at Llanabba Castle. His colleagues are an assortment of misfits, rascals and fools, including Prendy (plagued by doubts) and Captain Grimes, who is always in the soup (or just plain drunk). Then Sports Day arrives, and with it the delectable Margot Beste-Chetwynde, floating on a scented breeze. As the farce unfolds and the young run riot, no one is safe, least of all Paul.
‘The funniest book I have ever read.’ Julian Symons, The Times
‘His first, most perfect novel . . . a ruthlessly comic plot.’ Guardian