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This is an auction for THE PREDESTINED CHOICE: SAMUEL BUTLER IN CANTERBURY by A C Brassington.

The subject of this monograph is "some aspects of Butler's life in Canterbury. These may be more freely discussed and better understood now, because of changing public attitudes, and more enlightened opinion upon a special relationship which may arise between men..."

The principal function of this tiny tome would therefore appear to have been to break the news to a middle-class Canterbury audience that Butler was what would now be termed "gay". This would, however, hardly have been news in England where, as Wikipedia notes, "Beginning with Malcolm Muggeridge in 1937, a number of literary critics have discussed Butler's sublimated or repressed homosexuality, comparing his lifelong pose as an 'incarnate bachelor' to the very similar bachelorhoods among his contemporaries of other writers assumed to be homosexual but closeted, such as Walter Pater, Henry James, and E. M. Forster... His first significant male friendship was with the young Charles Pauli, son of a German businessman in London, whom Butler met in New Zealand; they returned to England together in 1864 and took neighbouring apartments in Clifford's Inn. Butler had made a large profit from the sale of his New Zealand farm, and undertook to finance Pauli's study of law by paying him a regular pension, which Butler continued to do long after the friendship had cooled. Upon Pauli's death in 1892, Butler was shocked to learn that Pauli had benefited from similar arrangements with other men and had died wealthy, but without leaving Butler anything in his will..."
- DH

Limited edition * card-covered book 1972.

*173 in the edition of 500 copies.

32 pages.

Very good condition.

The cost of shipping is $4.95.

There is of course no charge for shipping if you collect this book from my shop in Palmerston North following the auction.

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  • Seller location: Palmerston North, Manawatu, NZ

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