Samuel Butler published his novel Erewhon in 1872. The title is the (almost) reverse spelling of ‘Nowhere’ and it applies to a country the author discovered. He probably had in mind the Southern island of New Zealand where he minded sheep for a while.
The protagonist, Higgs, tending sheep in a prairie, looks at a mountain in the distance and wonders what lies behind it. A native tells him that it is prohibited to visit that land. But inherent curiosity and the attraction of the forbidden prompt Higgs to attempt a visit.
After various treacherous obstacles he discovers a passage and finds himself in a beautiful rolling plain, where the air, nimbly and sweetly, recommends itself unto his gentle senses (1), whereupon he falls asleep. Continue reading