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230 Lionel Johnson. Therefore one should properly date the beginning of their friendship from around 1893, for it was not until the following year that Yeats accompanied Symons on a trip to Paris, and it was not until 1895 that Yeats moved into rooms next to Symons1 at Fountain Court, where their really close association began. SAMUEL BUTLER'S THEORY OF EVOLUTION: A SUMMARY By Glenn 0. Carey S (State University College, Potsdam, New York) Samuel Butler becjan forming his theory of evolution while he was managing a sheep run in New Zealand from 1859 to 1864. During 1862-1863 Butler wrote articles for THE PRESS at Christ Church, New Zealand, praising and defending Charles Darwin's ORIGIN OF SPECIES. Darwin then read Butler's article, "Darwin on the Origin of Species. A Dialogue," and thought it was a clear and accurate view of his theory. In October, 1865; after returning to England, Butier wrote in a letter to Darwin, "I always delighted in your ORIGIN OF SPECIES as soon as I saw it out in New Zealand— not as knowing anything whatsoever of natural history, but it enters into so many deeply interesting questions, or rather it suggests so many, that it thoroughly fascinated me."' Darwin's answer began: "! thank you sincerely for your kind and frank letter, which has inte-es ted·me greatly. What a singular and varied career you have already run. Did you keep any journal or notes in New Zealand? For it strikes me that with your rare powers of writing you might make a very interesting work descriptive of a colonist's life in New Zealand." Eventually Butler found Darwin's ORIGIN OF SPECIES more fascinating than he had first believed. He had written in 1863 for THE PRESS ön article signed "Cellarius" and entitled "Darwin among the Machines," and in 1865 he wroteo another article, "Lucubratio Ebria„" Butler continued to use what Darwin called his "rare powers of writing" and by 1872 had published EREWHON. In the preface to the revised edition of EREWHON, Butler explained how his PRESS articles had assisted him in writing his Utopian novel, saying also, "I regret that reviewers have in some cases been inclined to treat the chapters on Machines cs an attempt to reduce Mr. Darwin's theory to an absurdity. Nothing could be further from my intention, and few things would be more distasteful to me than any attempt to laugh at Mr, Darwin. . . .3 Butler laid plans in 1872 for the novel that later was to become THE WAY OF ALL FLESH. During this year he made two visits by invitation to the home of Charles Darwin. There he became friends with Francis, Darwin's son. Soon afterwards Butler halted work on his novel and wrote a religious satire, THE FAIR HAVEN, which was published anonymously in 1873, When Charles Darwin read this he wrote to Butler: "I have delayed thanking you for your present [a copy of THE FAIR HAVEN] until I had read it through, which I have now done. It has interested me greatly and is extremely curious. If I had not known that you had written it I should not even have suspected that the writer was not orthodox, within the wide stated limits,"^ Again in 1874 Butler was fascinated by the theory of evolution and began the book, LIFE AND HABIT, which was published in December, 1877- But his views on evolution in LIFE AND HABIT worried him, and in November, 1877, he expressed this concern to Francis Darwin: "I confess that I do not like the thought of his [Charles Darwin] seeing it, or of your doing so; for it has resolved itself into a downright attack upon your father's view of evolution, and a defense of what I believe to be Lamarck's. 231 I neither intended nor wished this, but was simply driven into it."5 In this letter Butler also explained how this "downright attack" came about. He had been reading St. George Mivart's THE GENESIS OF SPECIES when he was surprised by Mivart's explanation of Lamarck's "doctrine of inherited habits." Butler previously had thought this doctrine was a new...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1559-2715
Print ISSN
0013-8339
Pages
pp. 230-233
Launched on MUSE
2010-05-21
Open Access
No
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