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1818 Darwin's Headmaster Samuel Butler

1818 Darwin's Headmaster Samuel Butler

C008/8070

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45.5 x 32.3 cm ⏐ 17.9 x 12.7 in (300dpi)

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Credit

PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Dr. Samuel Butler and his wife while Headmaster of Shrewsbury school at around the time Darwin was a pupil (1818-1835). Etchings from "The Life and Letters of Dr. Samuel Butler, headmaster of Shrewsbury School 1798-1836" published in 1896 by his grandson (the famous novelist and coincidentally opponent of Darwin) also Samuel Butler. Darwin did not have particularly fond memories of the school and did badly. He says in his autobiography (1887) "nothing could have been worse for the development of my mind than Dr. Butler's school, as it was strictly classical". Butler publically rebuked him for wasting his time on such "useless subjects" as Chemistry and Darwin recalled, "he called me very unjustly a 'poco curante' and as I did not understand what he meant, it seemed to me a fearful reproach".

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