Erewhon by Samuel Butler


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The Project Gutenberg eBook, Erewhon, by Samuel Butler

This eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and with
almost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away or
re-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License included
with this eBook or online at

Title: Erewhon

Author: Samuel Butler

Release Date: March 20, 2005 [eBook #1906]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-646-US (US-ASCII)


Transcribed from the 1910 A. C. Fifield (revised) edition by David Price,


"[Greek text]"--ARIST. _Pol_.

"There is no action save upon a balance of


The Author wishes it to be understood that Erewhon is pronounced as a
word of three syllables, all short--thus, E-re-whon.


Having been enabled by the kindness of the public to get through an
unusually large edition of "Erewhon" in a very short time, I have taken
the opportunity of a second edition to make some necessary corrections,
and to add a few passages where it struck me that they would be
appropriately introduced; the passages are few, and it is my fixed
intention never to touch the work again.

I may perhaps be allowed to say a word or two here in reference to "The
Coming Race," to the success of which book "Erewhon" has been very
generally set down as due. This is a mistake, though a perfectly natural
one. The fact is that "Erewhon" was finished, with the exception of the
last twenty pages and a sentence or two inserted from time to time here
and there throughout the book, before the first advertisement of "The
Coming Race" appeared. A friend having called my attention to one of the
first of these advertisements, and suggesting that it probably referred
to a work of similar character to my own, I took "Erewhon" to a
well-known firm of publishers on the 1st of May 1871, and left it in
their hands for consideration. I then went abroad, and on learning that
the publishers alluded to declined the MS., I let it alone for six or
seven months, and, being in an out-of-the-way part of Italy, never saw a
single review of "The Coming Race," nor a copy of the work. On my
return, I purposely avoided looking into it until I had sent back my last
revises to the printer. Then I had much pleasure in reading it, but was
indeed surprised at the many little points of similarity between the two
books, in spite of their entire independence to one another.

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