Unwritten Laws is a wonderfully entertaining treasury of more than five hundred rules, axioms and insights, each associated with a particular individual.
None of the 'laws' appears on the statute book, yet they shape human affairs more profoundly than any Act of Parliament or by-law. As Catt's Law states:
"No written law has ever been more binding than unwritten custom supported by popular opinion."
To compile this collection, Hugh Rawson has drawn on biographies, novels, plays, interviews, TV, film, and popular folklore. Many of his lawmakers - people like Disraeli, Darwin, Orwell, and Wilde - were figures of historical importance in the arts, sciences, and professions. Others are ordinary individuals who made a chance remark about some aspect of life, only to find it celebrated as an immutable truth.
The author's skill has been to knit together these diverse elements and place them in context. Thus, for each law, he cites subsidiary laws, corollaries and inversions which add subtlety, wit and depth to the original.
The result is an immensely enjoyable book which informs and amuses in equal measure. It also provides excellent guidance for those negotiating their way past the rocks and shoals of life!