A Handful of Dust has joined the three other new titles announced for UK release next month in the Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh. Here is the description issued by Oxford University Press:
Evelyn Waugh’s A Handful of Dust (1934) is often thought to be among his best novels. It is a darkly bitter account of the end of a marriage, its causes and its effects. Waugh wrote the book with half an eye on his own recent experience of the break-up of his marriage to Evelyn Gardner. The care and trouble he took over the work are reflected in his successive revisions of its text in manuscript and print. These can be recovered from sources on both sides of the Atlantic, notably from the autograph and typescript manuscript in the Harry Ransom Center at Austin, Texas, a proof copy of the first edition at the Huntington Library in California, in the serialization in different versions of the first part of the novel in Harper’s Bazaar, prepared for the UK and the US markets, and in four editions published in his lifetime in the UK and one in the US. All of these witnesses have been collated in this, the first fully edited and annotated edition of the novel. There is a substantial introduction describing the novel’s composition and reception, as well as the literary influences on which Waugh drew—including Shakespeare, Dickens, Kipling, and Beatrix Potter. The edition seeks to show Waugh as a consummate craftsman, at work on a painful subject that he treats in comic, tragic, and satirical ways.
The new edition is edited by Henry Woudhuysen whose CV is included in the OUP release:
H. R. Woudhuysen was educated at the University of Oxford. He was Professor of English at University College London until 2012 and is now Rector of Lincoln College, Oxford. His published work includes (with Michael. F. Suarez, SJ) The Oxford Companion to the Book (2010) and The Book: A Global History (2013).
An American release date has not been announced yet, but it will probably be the same as for the others in this batch of Complete Works editions–27 January 2023.