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Escape from the Anthill

By: Hubert Butler

Publication Date: November 1986


Escape from the Anthill by Huber Butler


‘Opening Hubert Butler’s book of essays is like discovering gold. He has all the essayists’s gifts: a clear, strong prose, a fascination with everyday affairs and their significance sub specie aeternitatis, a readiness to generalize, the ability to digress without wondering from the point, to inform without pedantry and enlighten without condescension, to give us pleasure simply by sharing his thoughts. I have touched only on the provocative riches contained in this excellent book. It will be treasured by those who possess it.’Hugh Bredin, Fortnight

‘I soon realized I had stumbled on an Irish talent of European stature.’Chris Agee, The Linen Hall Review

‘Opening the contents page, one has an impression of disparateness; closing the book, of having discovered an ouvre … Butler has the Anglo-Irish antennae for place; his unadorned style expresses atmosphere with extraordinary clarity.’Roy Foster, The Times Literary Supplement

‘This is not a book to borrow. It is a book to keep. It is not only intelligent, urbane and scholarly. It is most entertaining.’ Liam Robinson, New Hibernia

‘Hubert Butler’s great figt is his ability to comprehend the workings of the mind of Catholic Ireland.’Ulick O’Connor, Sunday Independent

‘A collection of essays on the Irish, the Anglo-Irish and Ireland and human nature that bears constant re-reading.’ Customer review


Hubert Butler was born in Kilkenny on 23 October 1900. Educated in England at Charterhouse and St John’s College, Oxford, he travelled extensively throughout Europe during the twenties and thirties before returning in 1941 to Co. Kilkenny, where he lived until his death in 1991. Market gardener, broadcaster, journalist and historian, his published works include Escape from the Anthill, The Children of Drancy, and In the Land of Nod, all of which won him international recognition. A one volume selection, The Sub-Prefect Should Have Held His Tongue, is available from Alan Lane Penguin in London; a further selection, Independent Spirit, appeared with Farrar, Straus & Giroux in New York in 1995.

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Weight 1 kg
Dimensions 130 × 190 mm
Publication Date

November 1986


Paperback, 352pp