Samuel Butler originally published Erewhon anonymously. The title is the name of a fictional country that is discovered by the novel's protagonist, it is also is also the word 'nowhere' spelt backwards but with the letters 'w' and 'h' transposed. Butler drew from his experiences in New Zealand when describing the fictional land of Erewhon.
The novel is sometimes compared to Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels and William Morris's News from Nowhere. Although the land of Erewhon is depicted as a utopia it becomes clear, throughout the course of the novel, that it is far from a utopia, although not quite a dystopia. The novel satirises Victorian society and Butler was clearly influenced by Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species.