Decline and Fall: Two Editions on Offer

Oxford University Press has posted promotional material for a special edition of Decline and Fall, Evelyn Waugh’s first novel. This is rewritten for Level 6 English language learners (secondary and adult students) by Clare West. It is part of the Oxford Bookworms Library that has seven reading levels. Here’s a description of the book from OUP’s website:

After a wild, drunken party, Paul Pennyfeather is forced to leave Oxford and begin a new life out in the wide world. His experiences take him from a boys’ private school in Wales, where he meets some rather strange people, to a life of luxury in a grand country house and the Ritz Hotel, and then to seven years’ hard labour in prison. Where will it all end? The black humour of this story about English society in the 1920s is as fresh today as it was when the novel was first written.

The book was originally published in 2008 and is in a paperback format. The website offers sample pages showing the page design and illustrations which seem to be unique to this production. Here’s a link.

Meanwhile, Oxfam has on offer a first edition of this same novel. It is ex-library and has the usual characteristics of that progeny but is priced accordingly. It is identified as a genuine first edition by reference to “Martin Gaythorne-Brodie” on page 168 that was changed in later editions because of its similarity to Edward Gathorne-Hardy. On following page “Kevin Saunderson” was also changed because of similarity to Gavin Henderson. In later editions they appear as Miles Malpractice and Lord Parakeet, respectively. The Oxfam offering includes several photographs showing the state of the book. The price is £399.99. Here’s their description:

Two-tone red and black ‘snakeskin’ cloth lettered in gold at spine. With a frontispiece and five illustrations by the author. Has some wear to corners, damage to top and bottom of spine and no dust jacket. Ex library book which is internally good apart from first few pages which have damage from library markings/ticket pocket and tears, also library stamp and a signature. Please see extensive pictures taken.

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