Definitions for erewhon
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a satirical novel written by Samuel Butler (1872) describing a fictitious land
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 where 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, therefore Erewhon is an anagram of nowhere. 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, and explored parts of the interior of the South Island and which he wrote about in his A First Year in Canterbury Settlement. One of the country's largest sheep stations, located near where Butler lived, is named "Erewhon" in his honour. In the preface to the first edition of his book, Butler specified: Nevertheless, the word is occasionally pronounced with two syllables as 'air - one'.
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