Samuel Butler: Victorian Atheist and Controversialist

From the Christian Church to Charles Darwin, Samuel Butler scrutinized and challenged perceived wisdom, and sought to expose hypocrisy and contradiction wherever he found it. Sharing new material from his forthcoming book, Dr Simon Heffer sheds light on Samuel Butler's motivations and his role as a Victorian controversialist.

Simon Heffer read English at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, before embarking on a career as a journalist and columnist. He has held editorial positions at the Daily Telegraph, the Spectator and the Daily Mail, and is the author of biographies of Enoch Powell, Thomas Carlyle, Edward VII and Vaughan Williams, as well as books about British history and the English language. In 2009 Cambridge awarded him a PhD in Modern History. His latest book, High Minds: The Victorians and the Birth of Modern Britain, will be published by Random House in September 2013.

This talk was given at the third Butler Day, celebrating the end of the Samuel Butler Project, on Saturday 11th May 2013.

Transcript of Simon Heffer's talk