Samuel Butler (1835-1902) made one reputation during his lifetime with his Utopian satire Erewhon, and a second reputation after his death with The Way of All Flesh, published posthumously. This novel, the story of Ernest Pontifex, is a thinly disguised autobiography in which Butler brutally but hilariously savages the financial, sexual, familial and spiritual hypocrisies of late Victorian England.
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(210mm x 134mm x 26mm)
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UK Kirkus Review »
The childhood of Ernest Pontifex with his silly pretentious mother and ogre of a father would make painful reading but for the dry style in which the story is told, its wit and its author's perspicacity. As it is we marvel that 19th-century fathers beat the children they professed to love for no greater offence than lisping. We are shocked at the ignorance of the young in those days and the absolute authority of their elders, at injuries inflicted in the name of religion and draconian brutality mis-called duty. But for all that, The Way of All Flesh should be required reading for aspiring parents even today. Hypocrisy and humbug have not yet come to an end in our dealings with children. Review by Ruth Rendell, whose crime novels include 'The Keys to the Street' (Kirkus UK)
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