Honour bound

3 04 2016

Sword of Honour by Evelyn Waugh

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Fictionalising his experience of service during the Second World War, Evelyn Waugh’s Sword of Honour is the complete one-volume edition of his masterful trilogy, edited with an introduction by Angus Calder in Penguin Modern Classics.

Waugh’s own unhappy experience of being a soldier is superbly re-enacted in this story of Guy Crouchback, a Catholic and a gentleman, commissioned into the Royal Corps of Halberdiers during the war years 1939-45. High comedy – in the company of Brigadier Ritchie-Hook or the denizens of Bellamy’s Club – is only part of the shambles of Crouchback’s war. When action comes in Crete and in Yugoslavia, he discovers not heroism, but humanity. Sword of Honour combines three volumes: Officers and GentlemenMen at Arms and Unconditional Surrender, which were originally published separately. Extensively revised by Waugh, they were published as the one-volume Sword of Honour in 1965, in the form in which Waugh himself wished them to be read.

Comedy, chaos and Catholicism are all here in spades in this classic novel. It covers a big slice of history, features a great cast of characters and is entertaining throughout. Recommended.

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One response

10 04 2016
lottsnyder76164

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