Blog Archives

Going high, Julia Millen

To the Mountains: A Collection of New Zealand Alpine Writing
Laurence Fearnley and Paul Hersey (eds)
Otago University Press, $45.00,
ISBN 9781988531205

Since the arrival of Pacific peoples, New Zealand’s mountains have enthralled and enchanted. Māori revered the craggy peaks from afar while they forged ways through the hinterland. The first European explorer, Abel Tasman, sailing to the Southern Ocean in 1642, recorded the sighting of “a large land, uplifted high”. Captain Cook’s crew were bent on “conquest” in more ways than one. This collection features the 1998 re-enactment by 13 climbers of the 1773 ascent of Mt Sparrman in Fiordland, made by a party from Cook’s second voyage on the Resolution.

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Posted in History, Literature, Natural History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology

Radiant living: a hero rediscovered, Julia Millen

Edmund Hillary: A Biography
Michael Gill
Potton and Burton, $60.00,
ISBN 9780947503383

 

1953: Edmund Hillary, Everest conqueror (with Tenzing Norgay), is knighted by newly-crowned Queen Elizabeth II. From the time he climbed his first peak in the Southern Alps, it had taken 13 years of steep uphill slog to become a world hero.

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Posted in Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Discovery on the great southern continent, Julia Millen

Dispatches from Continent Seven: An Anthology of Antarctic Science Rebecca Priestley (ed) Awa Press, $55.00, ISBN 9781927249055 New Zealand’s connection with Antarctica began with early explorers. Abel Janszoon Tasman and Captain James Cook sailed south seeking Terra Australis Incognita and

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Posted in Non-fiction, Review, Science

Love and land, Julia Millen

Matters of the Heart: A History of Interracial Marriage in New Zealand Angela Wanhalla Auckland University Press, $50.00, ISBN 9781869407315 In Christchurch, May 1970, Stan Wanhalla (Irish, German and Maori ancestry) married Coralie Noonan (Irish, Manx heritage): one of many

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

A rowdy lot, Julia Millen

Convicts: New Zealand’s Hidden Criminal Past Matthew Wright Penguin, $40.00, ISBN 9780143567646 We New Zealanders have always been complacent, even smug, about our nation’s origins. Unlike our nearest, much bigger, neighbour, New Zealand was never a penal colony, having been

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Politics & Law, Review

Cataloguing the past, Hilary Stace

Te Rau Herenga: A Century of Library Life in New Zealand: The New Zealand Library Association and LIANZA 1910-2010 Julia Millen Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa, $40.00, ISBN 9780473175795   Librarians have long endured negative stereotypes, but

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review

Mist and myth, Julia Millen

Best of Both Worlds: The Story of Elsdon Best and Tutakangahau Jeffrey Paparoa Holman Penguin Books, $40.00, ISBN 9780143008422 Until the early 1960s the source for almost everything we learned at school and read in The School Journal about the

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Celebrating the singular, Julia Millen

Sit There and Draw That! Helen Crabb (“Barc”): Artist and Teacher   Patricia Fry Steele Roberts, $29.99, ISBN 9781877448546 Bill’s Story: A Portrait of W A Sutton Pat Unger Canterbury University Press, $39.99,  ISBN 9781877257704  Painting Out the Past: The

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Posted in Art, Biography, Non-fiction, Review

Old novelists never die, John McCrystal

Guthrie Wilson: Soldier, Writer, Educator Julia Millen First Edition, $34.95, ISBN 1877391638 A stroll past the literature shelves of the “reference-only” section of a public library is a sobering experience for a writer, for there engraved on the spines of

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Cheery beery male bohemia, Julia Millen

The Bookmen’s Dominion: Cultural Life in New Zealand 1920-1950 Chris Hilliard Auckland University Press, $34.99, ISBN 1869403622 Pat Lawlor’s “bookmen” or “frothblowers” were middle-aged men identifiable and, in a way, isolated not by such things as flamboyant attire, but by

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Posted in History, Non-fiction, Review, Sociology
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