The son of a clergyman and grandson of an Anglican bishop, Samuel Butler seemed destined for a life in the church. After graduating from Cambridge, however, he spent some time in New Zealand as a sheep-rancher. When he returned to England, he settled down as a journalist and writer. He engaged in many controversies over Darwinism. Butler is best known by two satirical novels, Erewhon (1872) and The Way of All Flesh (1903). Erewhon, an anagram for "nowhere," attacked contemporary attitudes in science, religion, and social mores. The Way of All Flesh was a study of the Pontifex family in a surprisingly modern tone. Erewhon Revisited (1901) continues his attack on religion. Another work, The Fair Haven (1873), is another subtle attack on religion, presented in the guise of a defense of the Gospels, though it actually undermines them. The Family Letters is a selection from the correspondence of Butler and his father, with several letters to and from his mother and sisters and one or two other relatives. Those between Butler and his father show how close the early part of The Way of All Flesh was to the events in the son's life. A brilliant, versatile writer, Butler was one of the most searching critics of his time. Butler died in 1902.