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' Samuel Butler '
Samuel Butler , perhaps the most original English thinker of the nineteenth century, was born near Bingham, ' Nottinghamshire, just a hundred years ago—on December 4, 1835. Grandson of a Bishop of Lichfield (whose life he wrote); Anglican lay reader; New Zealand sheep-breeder ; painter-one of his pictures is now in the Tate Gallery ; agnostic pamphleteer ; Swift-like satirist ; antagonist of Darwin ; composer ; art-critic; translator of Homer-he was a limitless, unfathomable man.
We remember him today not for his many-sidedness nor for his freakish theories (for instance, his contention that the ' Odyssey ' was written by a woman), but as the author of the fantastic ' Erewhon ', the brilliant, bitter. autobiographical novel ' The Way of All Flesh', and the pregnant aphorisms of the ' Notebooks '. Desmond Mac-Carthy has already expressed the view elsewhere that ' Samuel Butler was an earlier prophet of that Evolutionary Religion which is being preached by Shaw and Wells '.
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This site contains the BBC listings information which the BBC printed
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Feedback about I Knew a Man—10, National Programme Daventry, 22.00, 6 December 1935
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