Samuel Butler

(2581 words)

“I am the enfant terrible of literature and science”, Samuel Butler wrote in the 1890s, during the heyday of his fame among contemporaries (1912, p. 183). “If I cannot, and I know I cannot, get the literary and scientific big-wigs to give me a shilling, I can, and I know I can, heave bricks into the middle of them” (ibid.). By thus fashioning himself as both an eccentric and an iconoclast with regard to the Victorian intellectual establishment, Butler accurately outlined his future reputation at least within the literary world. Apart from his biography itself, and despite his notable contributions to evolutionary theory, art history, bible studies, and literary scholarship, this reputation rests mainly on two of his books, only t…

Please log in to consult the article in its entirety. If you are a member (student of staff) of a subscribing institution (see List), you should be able to access the LE on campus directly (without the need to log in), and off-campus either via the institutional log in we offer, or via your institution's remote access facilities, or by creating a personal user account with your institutional email address. If you are not a member of a subscribing institution, you will need to purchase a personal subscription. For more information on how to subscribe as an individual user, please see under Individual Subcriptions.

Glitz, Rudolph. "Samuel Butler". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 September 2010
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]

Articles on Butler's works

  1. The Way of All Flesh

Related Groups

  1. Victorian Scientific Thought and Applications