Samuel Butler's Canterbury Pieces By Samuel Butler


by Samuel Butler

(From the 1914 A. C. Fifield edition by David Price)


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By Samuel Butler

(From the 1914 A. C. Fifield edition by David Price)


Darwin on the Origin of Species A Dialogue Barrel-Organs Letter: 21 Feb 1863 Letter: 14 Mar 1863 Letter: 18 Mar 1863 Letter: 11 Apr 1863 Letter: 22 June 1863 Darwin Among the Machines Lucubratio Ebria A note on "The Tempest" The English Cricketers


Prefatory Note

As the following dialogue embodies the earliest fruits of Butler's study of the works of Charles Darwin, with whose name his own was destined in later years to be so closely connected, and thus possesses an interest apart from its intrinsic merit, a few words as to the circumstances in which it was published will not be out of place.

Butler arrived in New Zealand in October, 1859, and about the same time Charles Darwin's ORIGIN OF SPECIES was published. Shortly afterwards the book came into Butler's hands. He seems to have read it carefully, and meditated upon it. The result of his meditations took the shape of the following dialogue, which was published on 20 December, 1862, in the PRESS which had been started in the town of Christ Church in May, 1861. The dialogue did not by any means pass unnoticed. On the 17th of January, 1863, a leading article (of course unsigned) appeared in the PRESS, under the title "Barrel- Organs," discussing Darwin's theories, and incidentally referring to Butler's dialogue. A reply to this article, signed A .M., appeared on the 21st of February, and the correspondence was continued until the 22nd of June, 1863.

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