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Lord of the Rings site in Erewhon

Mt Sunday - site of Edoras in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Photo © Ivan McLellan Hon FNZPPA

Mt Sunday - site of Edoras in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Photo © Ivan McLellan Hon FNZPPA

 

Erewhon, or Over the Range  is a novel by Samuel Butler, published in 1872. The title is the name of a country, but it is clear that it is a fictional country. Butler meant the title to be read as the word Nowhere  backwards, even though the letters "h" and "w" are transposed.
The first few chapters dealing with the discovery of Erewhon, are in fact based on Butler's own experiences in New Zealand where, he worked as a sheep farmer (1860-1864) and explored parts of the interior of the South Island. (One of the country's largest sheep farms, located near where Butler lived, is named "Erewhon" in his honour. It is in the Rangitata River Gorge, near Mt Somers, inland from Ashburton