The Way of All Flesh - Samuel Butler 1903 - Grant Richards, London - First Edition Samuel Butler died in London on June 18, 1902. The Way of All Flesh was published the following year.

The Way of All Flesh is one of the time-bombs of literature, said V. S. Pritchett. ‘One thinks of it lying in Samuel Butler’s desk for thirty years, waiting to blow up the Victorian family and with it the whole great pillared and balustraded edifice of the Victorian novel.’

Writing in The New Yorker, William Maxwell stated: ‘If the house caught on fire, the Victorian novel I would rescue from the flames would be The Way of All Flesh. It is read, I believe, mostly by the young, bent on making out a case against their elders, but Butler was fifty when he stopped working on it, and no reader much under that age is likely to appreciate the full beauty of its horrors. . . . Every contemporary novelist with a developed sense of irony is probably in some measure, directly or indirectly, indebted to Butler, who had the misfortune to be a twentieth-century man born in the year 1835.’ (
Penguin Random House)

‘The greatest English writer of the latter half of the nineteenth century.’ – George Bernard Shaw.
  Samuel Butler (1835-1902) was among the most wide-ranging of the accomplished crew of late Victorian writers to which be belonged — a forceful controversialist in the debates that surrounded Darwin’s theory of evolution, a painter who sometimes exhibited at the Royal Academy, an idiosyncratic critic and a gifted travel writer, and even, in his early years, a highly successful sheep farmer in New Zealand. He was also, as The Way of All Flesh, his deterministic tale of the havoc wrought by genetic inheritance, suggests, one of the great British masters of the novel of ideas.

One of 1500 copies but due to the poor construction of the binding, most copies that survive have been rebound at some point.

Octavo (19.7 x 13.5 cm) pp. v [1] 424, 12 (publisher’s catalogue). In publisher’s red cloth, with gilt lettering to spine and front board, top edge gilt.
  Condition: Very good, spine toned, toning and some marks to endpapers, over opened and somewhat loose due to the poor construction of the book, but pages themselves clean and in fine condition, rear hinge split.   Ref: 109040   Price: HK$ 2,800