June 1992: Literary biography, House Notes

Station Life in New Zealand
Lady Barker,
illustrated edition, Random Century, Auckland, 1991, $45

First published in 1870, Lady Barker’s perceptive account of three years spent on a sheep station in the foothills of the Southern Alps has remained fresh, charming and vivid. The paintings by Violet Banks, William Packe, Thomas Babington and others, combined with the generous format, should attract a new generation of readers to this welcome illustrated edition of a New Zealand classic.


Diary for 1942-3
R S Gormack,
The Nag’s Head Press, Christchurch, 1991, $22.95

Of particular interest in these agreeable final entries in the author’s private journal of student days in Second World War Christchurch are the references to Ngaio Marsh’s first university Shakespearean production, a modern-dress Hamlet, and the first concert of Douglas Lilburn’s own compositions. Other figures who appear include H Winston Rhodes and Allen Curnow. This edition of 135 copies in hand-set type is a collector’s treasure.



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