Butler, Samuel, 1835-1902

Alternative names
Birth 1835-12-04
Death 1902-06-18

Biographical notes:

Samuel Butler was an English novelist, essayist, and critic. He was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge, and after a time in New Zealand as a sheep farmer, returned to England in 1864 where he established himself as both a painter and a writer. His satire Erewhon (1872) foreshadowed the collapse of the Victorian illusion of progress. His autobiographical novel, The way of all flesh (1903), is generally considered his masterpiece and is a story about Butler's escape from the suffocating moral atmosphere of his homelife. He had an avid interest in Darwinism after reading Darwin's Origin of species (1859), contributing books and articles on the subject. Besides his novels, he also wrote art criticism, satirical poetry, science, philosophy, and music.

From the description of Samuel Butler letters, galley proof and fragments, 1887-1900. (Pennsylvania State University Libraries). WorldCat record id: 60677980

English satirist.

From the description of Letter to "Dear May" [manuscript], 1877 September 28. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 647808404

From the description of Letter, Clifford's Inn, London, to "Dear May", 1877 Sept. 28. (University of Virginia). WorldCat record id: 32959686

English novelist and essayist.

From the description of Samuel Butler collection of letters, 1880-1896. (University of California, Berkeley). WorldCat record id: 122370360

English novelist and philosopher.

From the description of Autograph letter signed : Clifford's Inn [London], to [Oliver Madox] Brown, 1873 June 11. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270131513

Samuel Butler was born in Nottinghamshire, England. In January, 1846, he went to school at Allesley, near Coventry and in 1848, at the age of twelve, he was sent to Shrewsbury School. He left in 1854 for Cambridge after which he travelled to New Zealand where he succeeded as a sheep breeder. He returned to England and wrote several novels. He died in 1902.

From the description of Autograph letter, signed, from Samuel Butler to Mrs. Fuller Maitland, March 7, 1893. (Florida State University). WorldCat record id: 50656100


From the description of Shakespeare's sonnets reconsidered : holograph manuscript, circa 1899. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 71131915

English author.

From the description of A lecture on the genesis of feeling, delivered at the City of London College, Dec. 15, 1887 : typewritten manuscript with autograph corrections signed : London, 1887. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270132595

English-born author of "The Way of All Flesh" and many other works.

Amusing literary satirist.

From the description of Samuel Butler ALS autograph letter (signed). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 37473300


Loading Relationships


Ark ID:


  • Novelists, English--19th century--Correspondence
  • Authors
  • Authors, English--19th century
  • Errors and blunders, Literary
  • Literature
  • Critics--Correspondence
  • Word portraits


  • Authors


  • Great Britain (as recorded)
  • England (as recorded)