Samuel Butler 1872


Samuel Butler

Samuel Butler 1872

Source: Fireblade, by Jerry Stratton.
Samuel Butler (1835-1902) used his satirical tale, Erewhon, to promote of his alternative interpretation of the evolution of species, which accorded cells a will and a capacity to shape their environment and to pass acquired habits on to its progeny. Butler satirises the injustices of Victorian England by means of a utopian society in which all the social mores and laws were the exact opposite of what they were in England, just as its ideas about evolution were different.

Biography of Samuel Butler.

“If a man falls into ill health, or catches any disorder, or fails bodily in any way before he is seventy years old, he is tried before a jury of his countrymen, and if convicted is held up to public scorn and sentenced more or less severely as the case may be. ... But if a man forges a cheque, or sets his house on fire, or robs with violence from the person, or does any other such things as are criminal in our own country, he is either taken to a hospital and most carefully tended at the public expense, or if he is in good circumstances, he lets it be known to all his friends that he is suffering from a severe fit of immorality, just as we do when we are ill, and they come and visit him with great solicitude.”

Chapter 1: Waste lands
Chapter 2: In the woolshed
Chapter 3: Up the river
Chapter 4: The saddle
Chapter 5: The river and the range
Chapter 6: Into Erewhon
Chapter 7: First impressions
Chapter 8: In prison
Chapter 9: To the metropolis
Chapter 10: Current opinions
Chapter 11: Some Erewhonian trials
Chapter 12: Malcontents
Chapter 13: The views of the Erewhonians concerning death
Chapter 14: Mahaina
Chapter 15: The Musical Banks
Chapter 16: Arowhena
Chapter 17: Ydgrun and the Ydgrunites
Chapter 18: Birth formulae
Chapter 19: The world of the unborn
Chapter 20: What they mean by it
Chapter 21: The Colleges of Unreason
Chapter 22: The Colleges of Unreason (continued)
Chapter 23: The Book of the Machines
Chapter 24: The Book of the Machines (continued)
Chapter 25: The Book of the Machines (concluded)
Chapter 26: The views of an Erewhonian prophet on the rights of animals
Chapter 27: The views of an Erewhonian prophet on the rights of vegetables
Chapter 28: Escape
Chapter 29: Conclusion