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Chalk and cheese William Brandt

The Many Deaths of Mary Dobie: Murder, Politics and Revenge in Nineteenth-century New Zealand
David Hastings
Auckland University Press, $40.00,
ISBN 9781869408374

The Scene of the Crime: Twelve Extraordinary True Stories of Crime and Punishment
Steve Braunias
HarperCollins, $37.00,
ISBN 9781775540830

Tourism has certainly come a long way. When in 1878 Mary Dobie made the trip from England to New Zealand, travelling in the company of sister Bertha (has that name ever been fashionable?) and mother Ellen, it took her three months. Not surprisingly after such a big investment of time and effort, the women planned a stay of three years – time to attend the wedding of émigré brother Herbert and still fit in a tour of the North Island, taking in, among other places, the fabled Pink and White Terraces of Lake Rotomahana. In special travel outfits of their own design (“a stout dungaree petticoat and a loose blouse bodice of thin cotton stuff”), the intrepid trio even visited Fiji and Samoa. “No white woman had ever been there,” journalled Bertha, with some pride, of a caving expedition to the Yasawa Islands.

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Auckland’s newspaper wars, Grant Hannis

Extra! Extra! How the People Made the News David Hastings Auckland University Press, $45.00, ISBN 9781869407384 Histories of New Zealand newspapers are usually boring. I’m sure anyone who’s tried to read Guy Scholefield’s 1958 history of New Zealand newspapers has

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Posted in History, Media, Non-fiction and Review

The voyage out, Deborah Montgomerie

Over the Mountains of the Sea: Life on Migrant Ships, 1870-1885 David Hastings Auckland University Press, $49.95, ISBN 1869403754 When I was an undergraduate, one of the perennial questions examiners asked in the first-year course in 19th century New Zealand

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