'Curators for an Hour' - a secondary school visit to the Library
Manuscript of 1893
Samuel Butler at the piano
'Family Prayers' - a painting by Samuel Butler
'Priest or Bishop on steamer, Calais 1896' - a photograph by Samuel Butler
Be inspired by Samuel Butler
Samuel Butler (1835-1902) was a Victorian writer, artist and photographer. Interested in everything, and engaged in many of the topical debates of his time, he published books on subjects as diverse as evolution, religion, art, classical poetry, travel and sheep-farming! His photographic ‘snapshots’ provide stunning glimpses of the people and places Butler encountered throughout his travels in nineteenth-century Europe. His best-known novels are Erewhon, a satirical ‘utopian’ narrative inspired by his time in New Zealand, and The Way of All Flesh, an autobiographical account of Victorian family life, social attitudes and conventions.
Using the collection
The Library runs an active education and outreach programme and welcomes group visits from local schools. The launch of the Samuel Butler Project has enabled us to tap into an even wider range of resources, and we can tailor activities to match the requirements of visiting groups.
The collection includes Butler’s photographs, books, manuscripts, letters, paintings and drawings, as well as some of his personal possessions – all of which provide a fascinating insight into Victorian society and intellectual life. Scope for activities for pupils at every key stage is almost limitless, but themes and topics could include:
• Imaginary lands: fiction, exploration, utopias and satires
• Travel in Europe in the C19th
• Evolution, religion and debate
• Classical literature and translation
• Art in the Old Library: a drawing session
For more information, or to plan a visit, please contact Rebecca Watts on 01223 339362 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.