The Way of All Flesh by Samuel Butler

Some classics demand to be read. We hear of them incessantly. We feel we must read them before we die.

I’m thinking now of War and Peace, Crime and Punishment, Les Miserables, David Copperfield, Hamlet, Gulliver’s Travels, Don Quixote and Robinson Crusoe.

Then there are classics which are pivotal in the history of literature but rarely mentioned, never recommended and almost always overlooked by readers hurrying to read the former group.

I’m now thinking of Clarissa, The Egoist, New Grub Street, Parade’s End and The Way of All Flesh. (If it were not for Universities many of these would not now be read.)

The Way of All Flesh, Samuel Butler’s masterpiece, was brought to my attention when talking with a wise old reader I used to know – I was expressing my love for Sons and Lovers and Of Human Bondage at the time. The old man suggested I read The Way of All Flesh, for it was his belief that Continue reading


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