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Erewhon Revisited

Samuel Butler

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Higgs has made his fortune with sales of his original travelogue Erewhon. When his wife dies, his long-held desire to return to the country overwhelms him, and even his friends agree that a change of scenery would be a good idea. Soon after his departure he returns back home to England unexpectedly early and deeply unwell, and so it’s down to his son John to piece together what happened during his fleeting visit to Erewhon.

Written nearly thirty years after the first book, Erewhon Revisited is Samuel Butler’s attempt to reason about the ongoing effect Higgs’ first visit—and dramatic exit—would have had on the closed society of Erewhon. The playful satire of the first book remains, but this time focused on a new target: religion. This focus did the book no favors among the establishment of the day, but after partnering with George Bernard Shaw’s imprint it was finally published in 1901. While never as critically or commercially successful as the first book, it remains a fascinating read.

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