Samuel Butler's Canterbury Pieces By Samuel Butler


Enough, however, has been given to explain the correspondence which
the publication of the dialogue occasioned.  I do not know - Page 7
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Enough, However, Has Been Given To Explain The Correspondence Which The Publication Of The Dialogue Occasioned.

I do not know what authority Butler had for supposing that Charles John Abraham, Bishop of Wellington, was the author of the article entitled "Barrel- Organs," and the "Savoyard" of the subsequent controversy.

However, at that time Butler was deep in the counsels of the PRESS, and he may have received private information on the subject. Butler's own reappearance over the initials A. M. is sufficiently explained in his letter to Darwin.

It is worth observing that Butler appears in the dialogue and ensuing correspondence in a character very different from that which he was later to assume. Here we have him as an ardent supporter of Charles Darwin, and adopting a contemptuous tone with regard to the claims of Erasmus Darwin to have sown the seed which was afterwards raised to maturity by his grandson. It would be interesting to know if it was this correspondence that first turned Butler's attention seriously to the works of the older evolutionists and ultimately led to the production of EVOLUTION, OLD AND NEW, in which the indebtedness of Charles Darwin to Erasmus Darwin, Buffon and Lamarck is demonstrated with such compelling force.

DARWIN ON THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES: A Dialogue [From the Press, 20 December, 1862.]

F. So you have finished Darwin? Well, how did you like him?

C. You cannot expect me to like him. He is so hard and logical, and he treats his subject with such an intensity of dry reasoning without giving himself the loose rein for a single moment from one end of the book to the other, that I must confess I have found it a great effort to read him through.

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