BUTLER, Samuel


BUTLER, Samuel
(1835-1902)
   UK writer, educated at Cambridge, never married, emigrated to live in New Zealand 1859-64, best known for his posthumously published autobiographical novel, The Way of all Flesh (1903), which describes the conflict between SB and his minister father, the conflict that also provided much of the force of the SATIRE on RELIGION in his two UTOPIAS, Erewhon, or Over the Range (1872; rev 1872; rev 1901) and Erewhon Revisited (1901), in which the Musical Banks closely resemble the 19th-century Established Church. Erewhon and its sequel are set in a New Zealand utopia where MACHINES have been banned for many years, because (in a harsh parody of Darwin's theory of EVOLUTION, which SB disliked) of human fears that machines, in their rapid evolutionary progress, would soon supplant Man. The visitor to this utopia - which mixes DYSTOPIAN elements freely with its more attractive aspects - is named Higgs, and his eventual escape from Erewhon in a balloon triggers a new religion in that country, Sunchildism. The sequel is devoted mainly to this faith and Higgs's effect upon it on his return, in an analogical satire on Christianity's origins and growth and the legend of the Second Coming. SB was a compulsive speculator in and chivvier at ideas, and his two utopias are densely packed with parodic commentary on all aspects of 19th-century civilization. The calibre of his mind is indicated by his suggested modification to Darwin's theory - that more than chance was required to explain the variations that make for survival. In this he prefigured some of Darwin's own later thought, though generally his anti-Darwinian propaganda displayed a cavalier attitude to scientific evidence.
   JC/DIM

Science Fiction and Fantasy Encyclopedia. . 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Butler, Samuel — I born Dec. 4, 1835, Langar Rectory, Nottinghamshire, Eng. died June 18, 1902, London British novelist, essayist, and critic. Descended from distinguished clergymen, he grappled for many years with Christianity and evolution, first embracing,… …   Universalium

  • Butler, Samuel —    1. (1612 1680)    Butler, the son of a farmer, was born at Strensham in Worcestershire and educated at the King s School, Worcester. He was secretary to the Countess of Kent and steward to Richard Vaughan, Earl of Carberry at Ludlow Castle.… …   British and Irish poets

  • Butler, Samuel — ► (1835 1902) Escritor británico del linaje de los Swift y los Sterne. Se dedicó a la pintura y atacó las costumbres y los prejuicios de la época victoriana. Escribió El camino de la carne (1903), en la que satiriza la educación tradicional. * *… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Butler,Samuel — I. Butler1, Samuel. 1612 1680. English poet remembered primarily for his three part work Hudibras (1663 1678), a venomous mock heroic satire on the Puritans.   II. Butler2, Samuel. 1835 1902. British writer best known for The Way of All Flesh… …   Universalium

  • Butler, Samuel — (1835–1902) English writer and critic. An unsystematic thinker who spent much time discussing and attacking Darwin s view of evolution, Butler is remembered philosophically mainly for Erewhon (1901), a satire of ethics in which the hero visits a… …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Butler, Samuel — 1) (1612 1680)    Satirist, was the s. of a Worcestershire farmer. In early youth he was page to the Countess of Kent, and thereafter clerk to various Puritan justices, some of whom are believed to have suggested characters in Hudibras. After the …   Short biographical dictionary of English literature

  • BUTLER, SAMUEL —    a master of burlesque, born at Strensham, in Worcestershire, the son of a small farmer; the author of Hudibras, a poem of about 10,000 octosyllabic lines, in which he subjects to ridicule the ideas and manners of the English Puritans of the… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • Butler — Butler, Samuel …   Philosophy dictionary

  • Samuel butler (1835-1902) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Samuel Butler. Samuel Butler (1835 1902) Samuel Butler (1835 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Samuel butler (1774-1839) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Butler. Samuel Butler (1774 1839) était un homme d Église et érudit britannique. Il fut évêque de Lichfield en 1836, puis évêque de Coventry. Bibliophile, il réunit une importante bibliothèque, dont un nombre… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Samuel butler (1612-1680) — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Samuel Butler. Samuel Butler Samuel Butler (né le 4 décembre …   Wikipédia en Français


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