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Music boxes and willows, Edmund Bohan

The Song Journey T E Scott Scott Publishing, $37.00, ISBN 9780473328863 Napoleon’s Willow Joan Norlev Taylor RSVP Publishing, $30.00, ISBN 9780987658784 One of the attractions of historical fiction is its infinite variety. For far too long in New Zealand’s curious

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A veritable Pooh-Bah, Edmund Bohan

Dear Tyrant; An Extraordinary Colonial Life
Barrie Allom
Wairarapa Archive/Fraser Books, $39.50,
ISBN 9780992247522

Albert James Allom (1825-1909) always described himself in his numerous and usually self-justifying writings as “Gentleman”, a title that frequently in his latter years brought down on his unbowed head some derision. Not that derision ever seems to have bothered this most resolute self-publicist and controversialist. He was certainly a colourful character, and Barrie Allom, his great-great grandson, strives hard to bring his story to life through copious quotations from Albert’s numerous autobiographical writings. Yet the author cannot quite avoid the conclusion that, although one must admire Albert for his sheer determination, industry and courage in battling adversity, he was not the most likeable of our 19th-century colonial personalities. Nevertheless, his story is worth telling.

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Philanthropy and fighter aces, Edmund Bohan

Frontiers: A Colonial Dynasty Simon Best Steele Roberts, $55.00, ISBN 9781927242216 This book traces the lives and times of four generations of the remarkable family founded by that rugged Yorkshireman, William Barnard Rhodes (1807-78): master mariner, whaling captain, trader, land

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Telling stories Catharina van Bohemen

Singing Historian: A Memoir Edmund Bohan Canterbury University Press, $30.00, ISBN 9781927145319 Sarah Vaughan Is not my Mother: A Memoir of Madness  Maryjane Thomson Awa Press, $35.00, ISBN 9781877551802 Where the Rainbow Fell Down: A New Zealand Memoir Lynette Robinson

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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction and Review

Tickling the ivories, Edmund Bohan

Piano Forte: Stories and Soundscapes from Colonial New Zealand  Kirstine Moffat  Otago University Press, $45.00,  ISBN 978187737797 What a welcome book this is. Music has been neglected shamefully for far too long in our historiography, either because most of our

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Myth and memory, Edmund Bohan

Shattered Glory: The New Zealand Experience at Gallipoli and the Western Front Matthew Wright Penguin Books, $45.00, ISBN 9780143020561   The Great Wrong War: New Zealand Society in WWI  Stevan Eldred-Grigg Random House, $55.00, ISBN 9781869792633   In 2007 the

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Stirring times, Edmund Bohan

Collision Joanna Orwin HarperCollins, $36.99, ISBN 9781869507787 Banquo’s Son T K Roxborogh Penguin Books, $37.00, ISBN 9780143202493 The historical novel worldwide has possibly never enjoyed such a golden age as at present, with such remarkably diverse writers of quality as

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Up the line to death, Edmund Bohan

March to the Sound of the Guns Ray Grover Longacre Press, $34.99, ISBN 9781877460012 Ray Grover’s extremely well written novel March to the Sound of the Guns traces the harrowing years of the First World War, and the years immediately

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Stamping one’s mark, Edmund Bohan

The Governors: New Zealand’s Governors and Governors-General Gavin McLean Otago University Press, $59.95, ISBN 1877372250 Amassing Treasures for All Times: Sir George Grey, Colonial Bookman and Collector Donald Jackson Kerr Otago University Press, $59.95, ISBN 1877372218 Gavin McLean’s book is,

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In the jaws of Moloch, Les Cleveland

On My Way to the Somme Andrew Macdonald HarperCollins, $35.00, ISBN 11869505549 Galatas 1941 Lynn McConnell Reed, $39.99, ISBN 0790010496 In the Face of the Enemy Glyn Harper and Colin Richardson HarperCollins, $35.99, ISBN 1869505220 The Big Show Alison Parr

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