Author by : Samuel Butler
Languange Used : English
Release Date :
Publisher by : Independently published
Description : 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 read as "nowhere" backwards even though the letters "h" and "w" are transposed, as it would have been pronounced in his day (and still is in some dialects of English). The book is a satire on Victorian society... Summary : The greater part of the book consists of a description of Erewhon. The nature of this nation is intended to be ambiguous. At first glance, Erewhon appears to be a Utopia, yet it soon becomes clear that this is far from the case. Yet for all the failings of Erewhon, it is also clearly not a dystopia, such as that depicted in George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four. As a satirical utopia, Erewhon has sometimes been compared to Gulliver's Travels (1726), a classic novel by Jonathan Swift; the image of Utopia in this latter case also bears strong parallels with the self-view of the British Empire at the time. It can also be compared to the William Morris novel, News from Nowhere. Erewhon satirises various aspects of Victorian society, including criminal punishment, religion and anthropocentrism. For example, according to Erewhonian law, offenders are treated as if they were ill, whereas ill people are looked upon as criminals. Another feature of Erewhon is the absence of machines; this is due to the widely shared perception by the Erewhonians that they are potentially dangerous. This last aspect of Erewhon reveals the influence of Charles Darwin's evolution theory; Butler had read... Biography : Samuel Butler (4 December 1835 – 18 June 1902) was an iconoclastic English author of a variety of works. Two of his most famous works are the Utopian satire Erewhon and the semi-autobiographical novel The Way of All Flesh, published posthumously. He is also known for examining Christian orthodoxy, substantive studies of evolutionary thought, studies of Italian art, and works of literary history and criticism. Butler made prose translations of the Iliad and Odyssey that remain in use to this day... Butler was born on 4 December 1835 at the rectory in the village of Langar, near Bingham, Nottinghamshire, England, to the Rev. Thomas Butler, son of Dr. Samuel Butler, then headmaster of Shrewsbury School and later Bishop of Lichfield. Dr. Butler was the son of a tradesman and descended from a line of yeomen, but his scholarly aptitude being recognised at young age, was sent to Rugby and Cambridge, where he distinguished himself and launched his successful career. His only son Thomas wished to go into the Navy, but succumbed to paternal pressure and entered the Church, in which he led a wholly undistinguished career, all the more so in contrast with his father's. It has been suggested that this family dynamic had some impact on Samuel, insofar as it created the oppressive home environment (chronicled in The Way of All Flesh) which formed his approach to the world. Thomas Butler, states one critic, "to make up for having been a servile son, became a bullying father."... Extrait : My chief consolation lies in the fact that truth bears its own impress, and that my story will carry conviction by reason of the internal evidences for its accuracy. No one who is himself honest will doubt my being so. I reached my destination in one of the last months of 1868, but I dare not mention the season, lest the reader should gather in which hemisphere I was. The colony was one which had not been opened up even to the most adventurous settlers for more than eight or nine years, having been previously uninhabited, save by a few tribes of savages who frequented the seaboard...