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Butler, Samuel,1612–80, English poet and satirist. During the Puritan Revolution he served Sir Samuel Luke, a noted officer of Cromwell. After the restoration of Charles II, he wrote his famous mock-heroic poem Hudibras (pub. in 3 parts, 1663, 1664, 1678), an envenomed satire against the Puritans in which Luke was the model for the butt Sir Hudibras. He was also the author of other verse satires, some of them not published until the 20th cent.
See J. Wilders' edition of Hudibras (1967); biography by T. Penelhum (1985); studies by H. DeQuehen, ed. (1979) and T. L. Jeffers (1981).
Butler, Samuel,1835–1902, English author. He was the son and grandson of eminent clergymen. In 1859, refusing to be ordained, he went to New Zealand, where he established a sheep farm and in a few years made a modest fortune. He returned to England in 1864 and devoted himself to a variety of interests, including art, music, biology, and literature. Besides exhibiting some of his paintings (1868–76) at the Royal Academy, he composed several works in collaboration with Henry Festings Jones, among them the Handelian Narcissus: A Dramatic Cantata (1888). His Erewhon, in which he satirized English social and economic injustices by describing a country in which manners and laws were the reverse of those in England, appeared in 1872. It brought Butler immediate literary fame. Erewhon Revisited was published in 1901. Butler opposed Darwin's explanation of evolution, finding it too mechanistic, and he expounded his own theories in Evolution Old and New (1879), Unconscious Memory (1880), and Luck or Cunning as the Main Means of Organic Modification? (1887). In his single novel, the autobiographical The Way of All Flesh (1903), he attacked the Victorian pattern of life, in particular the ecclesiastical environment in which he was reared. Brilliantly ironic and witty, The Way of All Flesh is ranked among the great English novels. Butler's notebooks were published in 1912.
See selections from the notebooks ed. by G. Keynes and B. Hill (1951). See also A. Sliver, ed., The Family Letters of Samuel Butler, 1841–1886 (1962); biographies by H. F. Jones (1921, repr. 1973), L. E. Holt (1964), and P. Henderson (1953, repr. 1967); study by W. G. Becker (1925, repr. 1964).
Born Feb. 8, 1612, in Worcester; died Sept. 25, 1680, in London. English poet and satirist. Son of a small farmer.
Butler began his literary career during the Restoration, the reinstatement of the Stuart dynasty (1660–88). An opponent of the Puritans, Butler was famous for his heroic comic poem Hudibras (parts 1–3, 1663–78), in which the self-satisfied, pedantic Presbyterian judge Sir Hudibras and his squire are portrayed. The poem ridicules the hypocritical manners and religious fanaticism of the bourgeois Puritans. At the same time, in the satire A Burlesque About Lords and Ladies and other works, Butler criticized the aristocracy and courtiers of the Restoration.
WORKSSatires and Miscellaneous Poetry and Prose. Edited by R. Lamar. Cambridge, 1928.
REFERENCESIstoriia angliiskoi literatury, vol. 1, issue 2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1945.
Burton, K. M. P. Restoration Literature. London, 1958.
Born Dec. 4, 1835, at Langar, county of Nottinghamshire; died June 18, 1902, in London. English writer. Son of a clergyman.
After graduating from the university, Butler took holy orders; afterwards, he renounced the career of a clergyman. The hypocrisy of bourgeois morality was unmasked in his antibourgeois satire Erewhon (anagram of the word “nowhere”; 1872) and its sequel Erewhon Revisited (1901). The realistic novel The Way of All Flesh (1903; published posthumously) exposes the falsity of bourgeois family relations.
WORKSThe Shrewsbury Edition of the Works, vols. 1–20. London, 1923–26.
In Russian translation:
Zhiznennyi put’. Moscow, 1938.
REFERENCESIstoriia angliiskoi literatury, vol. 3. Moscow, 1958.
Anikst, A. A. Istoriia angliiskoi literatury. Moscow, 1956.
Henderson, Ph. Samuel Butler, the Incarnate Bachelor. London 1953.
Harkness, S. B. The Career of Samuel Butler (1835–1902): A Bibliography. London, .