The Way of All Flesh.

First Edition of Samuel Butler's The Way of All Flesh

The Way of All Flesh.

BUTLER, Samuel.


Item Number: 110721

London: Grant Richards, 1903.

First edition of Butler’s semi-autobiographical Bildungsroman. Octavo, original cloth. In very good condition. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell and chemise box.

Written between 1873 and 1884, Butler's The Way of All Flesh was published posthumously in 1903, as Butler dared not publish the attack on Victorian-era hypocrisy during his lifetime. Tracing four generations of the Pontifeux family, the novel has been praised by numerous authors including George Bernard Shaw, George Orwell, and A.A. Milne who stated in his essay A Household Book: "Once upon a time I discovered Samuel Butler; not the other two, but the one who wrote The Way of All Flesh, the second-best novel in the English language. I say the second-best, so that, if you remind me of Tom Jones, or The Mayor of Casterbridge, or any other that you fancy, I can say, of course, that one is the best." The Way of All Flesh has remained in print since its initial publication and in 1998, the Modern Library ranked it twelfth on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.

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