Decline and Fall

Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh (1928). This hilarious send-up of the English code of honor begins with Paul Pennyfeather’s “sending down” (expulsion) from Oxford. Reduced to teaching at a fourth-rate school, he encounters wonderfully named characters, including Lady Circumference and Lord Tangent, who prove ripe for satire. Pennyfeather also finds love with the impossibly rich and lovely Margot Beste-Chetwynde. But l’amour leads to a spell in the clink. Fortunately, Waugh says, “any one who has been to an English public school will always feel comparatively at home” in jail.

Total Points: 3 (DC 3)