A Handful of Dust
A Handful of Dust is a 1934 novel by the British writer Evelyn Waugh. The protagonist is Tony Last, a contented but shallow English country squire. He joins an expedition to the Brazilian jungle, only to find himself trapped in a remote outpost as the prisoner of a maniac. Waugh incorporated several autobiographical elements into the plot, including his own recent desertion by his wife.
About A Handful of Dust in brief
A Handful of Dust is a 1934 novel by the British writer Evelyn Waugh. The protagonist is Tony Last, a contented but shallow English country squire. He joins an expedition to the Brazilian jungle, only to find himself trapped in a remote outpost as the prisoner of a maniac. Waugh incorporated several autobiographical elements into the plot, including his own recent desertion by his wife. The book’s initial critical reception was modest, but it was popular with the public and has never been out of print. It is generally considered one of Waugh’s best works, and has more than once figured on unofficial lists of the 20th century’s best novels. It has been dramatised for radio, stage and screen, and is regarded as a transitional work pointing towards Waugh’s Catholic postwar fiction. The novel was first used by Waugh as the subject of an independent short story, published in 1933 under the title \”The Man Who Liked Dickens\”. Waugh converted to Roman Catholicism in 1930, after which his satirical, secular writings drew hostility from some Catholic quarters. He later explained that he intended the book to demonstrate the futility of humanist, as distinct from religious, especially Catholic, values. In Brazil, Tony is rescued by Mr Todd, a Britishian who rules over a small extended family in the jungle. On the outward journey, Tony engages in a shipboard romance with a young girl whose Roman Catholicism causes her to shun him when he tells her he has a wife.
Tony is swept over a waterfall over a delirium until he is rescued in a small clearing in the Guanian jungle. In the jungle, Tony finds himself in the depths of the Amazon rainforest, but is swept back to the British mainland by a man named Dr Messinger. He is eventually rescued by a British man named Mr Todd who is an organiser over a large extended family. The story ends with Tony returning to the UK, where he is reunited with his wife, Brenda, and their eight-year-old son, John Andrew, who has been adopted by a local orphanage. The author later wrote that he had intended the novel to be a satire on humanist values, but that he later realised it was more of a meditation on Catholic values than a satirical work of fiction. He also said that he wanted to show that humanism was not as bad as he had previously thought it was, and that it was possible to be both a humanist and a Catholic at the same time. He has since written that the novel was a satire of humanism and Catholic values, as well as a work of non-fiction, and a play on the idea of the human spirit. The work has been made into a film and a TV series. The film version of the novel has been adapted into a play, and the TV series is due to be released in 2015. The play is based on the novel’s main character, Tony Last.