Decline and Fall

Decline and Fall



The Pequod Review:

The success of Evelyn Waugh's first novel, Decline and Fall, lies in the fact that it is not merely a work of humor or entertainment, but that it has specific targets: the University of Oxford, and privilege, elitism, and hierarchy more generally. And the Welsh:

"The Welsh character is an interesting study," said Dr Fagan. "I have often considered writing a little monograph on the subject, but I was afraid it might make me unpopular in the village. The ignorant speak of them as Celts, which is of course wholly erroneous. They are of pure Iberian stockā€”the aboriginal inhabitants of Europe who survive only in Portugal and the Basque district. Celts readily intermarry with their neighbors and absorb them. From the earliest times the Welsh have been looked upon as an unclean people. It is thus that they have preserved their racial integrity. Their sons and daughters rarely mate with humankind except their own blood relations. In Wales there was no need for legislation to prevent the conquering people intermarrying with the conquered..."