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Erewhon or Over The Range - cover

Erewhon or Over The Range

Samuel Merwin

Publisher: AB Books

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Summary

Erewhon: or, Over the Range is a novel by Samuel Butler which was first 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 where Erewhon is, but it is clear that it is a fictional country. Butler meant the title to be understood as the word "nowhere" backwards even though the letters "h" and "w" are transposed. The book is a satire on Victorian society.

The first few chapters of the novel dealing with the discovery of Erewhon are in fact based on Butler's own experiences in New Zealand where, as a young man, he worked as a sheep farmer on Mesopotamia Station for about four years (1860–64), and explored parts of the interior of the South Island and which he wrote about in his A First Year in Canterbury Settlement (1863).

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