Henderson, Philip. Samuel Butler: The Incarnate Bachelor. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1954. One of the best biographies of Butler and the first to deal with Butler’s private life. Focuses on Butler’s personality rather than his work. Readable and illuminating. Argues against such mistaken prevailing views that Butler hated his father. Contains a detailed chronology.
Holt, Lee. Samuel Butler. Rev. ed. Boston: Twayne, 1989. In his critical evaluation, Holt summarizes and quotes extensively from a wide range of Butler’s work, much of it no longer available. Extends the reader’s knowledge of Butler’s varied accomplishments. Includes biographical information, a chronology, notes, references, a lengthy selected bibliography, and an index with brief annotations.
Parker, Blanford. The Triumph of Augustan Poetics: English Literary Culture from Butler to Johnson. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998. Written for an audience familiar with seventeenth and eighteenth century history and thought yet accessible to the nonspecialist. Parker’s study includes a chapter on Samuel Butler and his part in a vigorous, tumultuous, and original period in English culture. Includes bibliographic references.
Raby, Peter. Samuel Butler: A Biography. Iowa City: University of Iowa Press, 1991. This biography makes much of the suffering in Butler’s youth, which was occasioned by repeated whippings by his father for the slightest infractions and his grandfather’s long headmastership of a school at which Butler was enrolled. Includes a bibliography.
Richards, Edward Ames. Hudibras in the Burlesque Tradition. Reprint. New York: Octagon Books, 1972. Explores the burlesque elements in Butler’s Hudibras. Bibliography.
Snider, Alvin Martin. Origin and Authority in Seventeenth Century England: Bacon,...
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