A Visitor from Erewhon


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In Erewhon and Erewhon Revisited Samuel Butler delighted in attacking the complacency and hypocrisy of Victorian manners and religion. In A Visitor from Erewhon I attempt to do the same for the customs and beliefs of our early twenty-first century.

Explanatory Note:

Erewhon is the name of the country discovered by George Higgs in the mountains of New Zealand in 1868, and later visited by his son John in 1893.
Samuel Butler wrote two books about these visits, Erewhon (1872) and Erewhon Revisited (1901). Both books satirised Victorian society, but much of what he said is still relevant in 2015.



Chapter One: An Unexpected Visitor

My name is Paul Higgs. I am a librarian, and I live in Ealing. You will not have heard of me, but you may have heard of my great-great-grandfather, George Higgs, who found the way to Erewhon from the mountains of New Zealand in 1870 and after he left was declared to be a god - the Sunchild. You may have read his book about his experiences there, and how he escaped by balloon with his Erewhonian wife. His son, John, also visited the country some years later. Afterwards he wrote a book of his own, called Erewhon Revisited, in which he described the development of the myths of Sunchildism, by then the official religion of the country. Both books are commonly considered to be fiction, and indeed that was what I thought myself, but in 2005 I had an unexpected visitor...

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