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Controversial still, John O’Leary

A Communist In The Family Elspeth Sandys Otago University Press, $40.00, ISBN 9781988531601 Families are complicated things. Members don’t necessarily agree with one another, or even like one another; relationships can be strained, or snapped, then re-made across the years.…
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Posted in Memoir, Non-fiction, Review

The good, the bad and the ugly, John O’Leary

Scoundrels and Eccentrics of the Pacific John Dunmore Upstart Press, $40.00, ISBN 9781988516219 William Deans: The Passionate Pioneer Louise Deans Wily Publications, $35.00, ISBN: 9781927167342 Just as Australia’s Outback has its “characters” (according to popular legend, at least), so that…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

The long and the short of it, Jock Phillips

A Peculiar Gentleman: George Rusden – A Life  John O’Leary Australian Scholarly, $50.00, ISBN 9781925333404 The World, the Flesh and the Devil: The Life and Opinions of Samuel Marsden in England and the Antipodes, 1765-1838 Andrew Sharp Auckland University Press,…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Undesirables and worthies, John O’Leary

The Girl Who Stole Stockings: The True Story of Susannah Noon and the Women of the Convict Ship Friends Elsbeth Hardie Australian Teachers of Media, $40.00, ISBN 9781876467241 May Your Shadow Never Grow Less: The Life and Times of Henry…
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Posted in Biography, History, Non-fiction, Review

Necromancy and piety, John O’Leary

A Blighted Fame: George S Evans 1802-1868, A Life Helen Riddiford Victoria University Press, $60.00, ISBN 9780864738967 For Gallant Service Rendered: The Life & Times of Samuel Austin Barbara Mabbett Steele Roberts, $35.00, ISBN 9781877577710   Biography is a strange…
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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

More pork and potatoes, anyone? John O’Leary

Poenamo Revisited John Logan Campbell (essay and notes by R C J Stone) Godwit, $60.00, ISBN 9781869797980 Most New Zealanders – even those living south of the Bombay Hills – have heard of John Logan Campbell, the Father of Auckland,…
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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

To-ing and fro-ing, John O’Leary

Henry Lawson in New Zealand Charles Ferrall (ed) Steele Roberts, $29.99, ISBN 9781877577390   Who could be more Australian than Henry Lawson? He was born on a New South Wales goldfield, wandered and worked in the outback, and wrote stories…
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Posted in History, Literature, Review

The future world of 1881, John O’Leary

The Great Romance  The Inhabitant; Dominic Alessio (ed) University of Nebraska Press, US$17.95, ISBN 9780803259966 At a time when James Cameron’s film Avatar is breaking box-office records, thanks largely to the hyper-vivid, computer-generated images of the planet Pandora provided by…
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Posted in Fiction, Literature, Review
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