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Erewhon by Samuel Butler
By: (1835-1902)

Erewhon, or Over the Range is a novel by Samuel Butler, published anonymously in 1872. The title is also the name of a country, supposedly discovered by the protagonist. In the novel, it is not revealed in which part of the world Erewhon is, but it is clear that it is a fictional country. Butler meant the title to be read as the word Nowhere backwards, even though the letters “h” and “w” are transposed. It is likely that he did this to protect himself from accusations of being unpatriotic, although Erewhon is obviously a satire of Victorian society.

First Page:


"[Greek text]" ARIST. Pol .

"There is no action save upon a balance of considerations." Paraphrase .


The Author wishes it to be understood that Erewhon is pronounced as a word of three syllables, all short thus, E re whon.


Having been enabled by the kindness of the public to get through an unusually large edition of "Erewhon" in a very short time, I have taken the opportunity of a second edition to make some necessary corrections, and to add a few passages where it struck me that they would be appropriately introduced; the passages are few, and it is my fixed intention never to touch the work again.

I may perhaps be allowed to say a word or two here in reference to "The Coming Race," to the success of which book "Erewhon" has been very generally set down as due. This is a mistake, though a perfectly natural one. The fact is that "Erewhon" was finished, with the exception of the last twenty pages and a sentence or two inserted from time to time here and there throughout the book, before the first advertisement of "The Coming Race" appeared... Continue reading book >>

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