Samuel Butler: A Biography by Peter Raby
This new biography of Samuel Butler aims to restore one of the 19th-century's most pungent and idiosyncratic writers to a central place in our literary heritage. Best known as the author of Erewhon and The Way of All Flesh, Butler (1853-1902) was the son of a rigid disciplinarian, against whose rules he violently rebelled. Destined for the church, he refused ordination and in 1859 emigrated to New Zealand. Five years later he was back in London, devoting his time to satirical novels and provocative scholarship - on Darwin, Homer and Italian art - as well as to painting and photography. He recorded his activities in his notebooks.