Erewhon / Edition 1

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Overview

In this privately published work (1872), written in the tradition of Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, English novelist, essayist, and iconoclast Samuel Butler (1835-1902) describes an imaginary visit to a topsy-turvy country called Erewhon (an anagram of "nowhere"), where it is a punishable offense to be physically ill, but where criminality and immorality are looked kindly upon as treatable diseases. The English church is pilloried in the system of "Musical Banks," whose currency nobody believes in but which everyone pretends to value. Universities teach courses on how to say nothing at great length, and all machines have been banned for fear that they will develop through evolution and enslave the citizens. In this and other classic works, including The Way of All Flesh, Butler delighted in attacking the complacency and hypocrisy of Victorian manners and religion.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573922043
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 4/28/1998
  • Series: Literary Classics Series
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 1,261,356
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.52 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author


Samuel Butler (1835-1902) was the son of a clergyman. He was educated at Shrewsbury and St John’s College Cambridge and, after a disagreement with his father about his choice of career, left England to become a sheep farmer in New Zealand, where he stayed until 1864. On his return to England, he took up residence in Clifford’s Inn where he stayed until his death. He began to study painting and worked at it for ten years, exhibiting occasionally at the Royal Academy. In 1872 he anonymously published Erewhon which was based on the letters he wrote to his father from New Zealand. This was followed by The Fair Haven, an attack on the Resurrection, making clear the religious skepticism which had turned Butler against a career in the church.

In the years that followed, Butler wrote several works attacking contemporary scientific ideas, in particular Darwin’s theory of natural selection. In 1881 he began to write books on art and travel, the first of these being Alps and Sanctuaries of Piedmont and the Canton Ticino. Around this time, he was also experimenting with musical composition and collaborated with Festing Jones on the oratorio entitled Narcissus. An interest in Homer led him to write lively translations of The Iliad and The Odyssey and he formed the theory that these two works were written by a woman. Butler’s partly autobiographical work The Way of All Flesh was the result of many years’ labor and appeared posthumously in 1903.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2009

    The book is good..

    The book is fine, but I ordered a Penguin used copy and did NOT receive a Penguin. It's a great book, but be careful when ordering from individual sellers.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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