“I am the enfant terrible of literature and science. If I cannot, and I know I cannot, get the literary and scientific big-wigs to give me a shilling, I can, and I know I can, heave bricks into the middle of them.”
With The Way of All Flesh, Samuel Butler threw a subversive brick at the smug face of Victorian domesticity. Published in 1903, a year after Butler’s death, the novel is a thinly disguised account of his own childhood and youth “in the bosom of a Christian family.” With irony, wit and sometimes rancour, he savaged contemporary values and beliefs, turning inside-out the conventional novel of a family’s life through several generations.
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Samuel Butler, the freethinking Victorian whom George Bernard Shaw deemed ‘the greatest English writer of the latter half of the nineteenth century,’ was born on December 4, 1835, at Langar Rectory near Bingham, Nottinghamshire. The son of an Anglican clergyman,… More about Samuel Butler