Setting out to make his fortune in a far-off country, a young traveller discovers the remote and beautiful land of Erewhon and is given a home among its extraordinarily handsome citizens. But their visitor soon discovers that this seemingly ideal community has its faults—here crime is treated indulgently as a malady to be cured, while illness, poverty and misfortune are cruelly punished, and all machines have been superstitiously destroyed after a bizarre prophecy. Can he survive in a world where morality is turned upside down? Inspired by Samuel Butler’s years in colonial New Zealand and by his reading of Darwin’s Origin of Species, Erewhon is a highly original, irreverent and humorous satire on conventional virtues, religious hypocrisy and the unthinking acceptance of beliefs.
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Samuel Butler, the freethinking Victorian whom George Bernard Shaw deemed ‘the greatest English writer of the latter half of the nineteenth century,’ was born on December 4, 1835, at Langar Rectory near Bingham, Nottinghamshire. The son of an Anglican clergyman,… More about Samuel Butler