Story: Creative and intellectual expatriates

Samuel Butler's sheep station

Samuel Butler's sheep station

Mesopotamia sheep station, pictured in 1871, became famous as the setting for Samuel Butler's dystopian novel Erewhon (1872). The English-born Butler spent just four years in Canterbury, New Zealand, from January 1860 to June 1865, where he explored the mountains, established Mesopotamia, and began his literary career as a journalist. He left suddenly – it is believed because of a thwarted love affair – but back in London he was able to give full vent to his writing as well as pursuing other artistic interests. His stature as a major prose writer was established with Erewhon and confirmed by later books.

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Making New Zealand Centennial Collection (PAColl-3060)
Reference: MNZ-0386-1/4-F

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

All images & media in this story

How to cite this page:

Nancy Swarbrick, 'Creative and intellectual expatriates - Historical reasons for expatriation', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 21 June 2024)

Story by Nancy Swarbrick, published 22 Oct 2014