Evelyn Waugh — Decline and Fall
Subtitled “A Novel of Many Manners,” Evelyn Waugh’s famous first novel lays waste the “heathen idol” of British sportmanship, the cultured perfection of Oxford and inviolable honor code of English upper classes.
Paul Pennyfeather, innocent victim of a drunken orgy, is expelled Oxford College, which costs him a career in the church. He turns to teaching, frequently the last resort of failures, and at Llanabba Castle meets a friend, Beste-Chetwynde. But Margot, Beste-Chetwynde’s mother, introduces him to the questionable delights of high society. Suddenly, and improbably, he is engaged to marry Margot. Just as they are about to say “I do,” Scotland Yard arrives and arrests Peter for his involvement in Margot’s white slave-trading ring.