Scoundrels and Eccentrics of the Pacific
Upstart Press, $40.00,
William Deans: The Passionate Pioneer
Wily Publications, $35.00,
Just as Australia’s Outback has its “characters” (according to popular legend, at least), so that other vast open space near us in New Zealand, the Pacific, has or had its eccentrics – people who, for a variety of reasons, found their own settled societies too small, too tight, or too law-abiding, and who preferred the watery immensity of the planet’s largest ocean, dotted with its constellations of islands, as the stage set for their lives.