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Critique • Quotes • Text

Erewhon, first editionFirst edition
Publication details ▽ Publication details △

Original title
Erewhon, or Over the Range

First publication

Literary form

Literary, satire, science fiction

Writing language

Author's country

Approx. 89,000 words

Notable lines

If the reader will excuse me, I will say nothing of my antecedents, nor of the circumstances that led me to leave my native country; the narrative would be tedious to him and painful to myself.

— First line

Exploring is delightful to look forward to and back upon, but it is not comfortable at the time, unless it be of such an easy nature as not to deserve the name.


I have seen a radiance upon the face of those who were worshipping the divine in either art or nature—in picture or statue—in field or cloud or sea—in man, woman, or child—which I have never seen kindled by any talking about the nature and attributes of God. Mention but the word divinity, and our sense of the divine is clouded.


It stands to reason that he who would cure a moral ailment must be practically acquainted with it in all its bearings.


For property is robbery, but then, we are all robbers or would-be robbers together, and have found it essential to organise our thieving, as we have found it necessary to organise our lust and our revenge. Property, marriage, the law; as the bed to the river, so rule and convention to the instinct; and woe to him who tampers with the banks while the flood is flowing.


[Advice to the unbotn:]
"Remember...that if you go into the world you will have free will; that you will be obliged to have it; that there is no escaping it; that you will be fettered to it during your whole life, and must on every occasion do that which on the whole seems best to you at any given time, no matter whether you are right or wrong in choosing it."


But so engrained in the human heart is the desire to believe that some people really do know what they say they know, and can thus save them from the trouble of thinking for themselves, that in a short time would-be philosophers and faddists became more powerful than ever, and gradually led their countrymen to accept all those absurd views of life.


Please subscribe quickly. Address to the Mansion-House, care of the Lord Mayor, whom I will instruct to receive names and subscriptions for me until I can organise a committee.

— Last lines


Critique • Quotes • Text