Letters – Issue 90

What’s in a name?

John O’Leary in his review of Dominic Alessio’s edition of The Great Romance by “The Inhabitant” (NZB Autumn 2010) comments “we do not know who wrote it”. But the National Library’s wonderful searchable site of New Zealand newspapers, Papers Past, confirms a suggestion made some years ago by Murray MacLachlan and quoted as a possibility by Alessio in his introduction. The Christchurch Star of 5 January, 1882 has the following note on page three (also in its morning edition The Lyttelton Times same day on page four): “AN ASHBURTON AUTHOR. – Mr Henry Honor, a gentleman resident in Ashburton, has at present in the press a work of imagination entitled ‘The Great Romance: by the Inhabitant’. The tale is an account of a perilous voyage amongst the stellar worlds, the voyageurs being three men, and their vessel a sort of half-and-half craft called the ‘Star Climber’ … .” Little is known of Mr Honor, but he is likely the Henry Honour, farmer, listed on the 1880-1 Ashburton electoral roll.

Rowan Gibbs

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