Over the Wide and Trackless Sea: the Pioneer Women and Girls of New Zealand by Megan Hutching
|Over the Wide and Trackless Sea: the Pioneer Women and Girls of New Zealand by Megan Hutching|
|Reviewer: Wheldon Curzon-Hobson|
|Summary: An introduction into the fascinating lives of women who journeyed to New Zealand in the 1800's.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 304||Date: September 2008|
|Publisher: HarperCollins NZ|
This book offers a valuable insight into the lives of twelve pioneer women who suffered, endured and triumphed in New Zealand.
Their journey by boat from Europe to New Zealand was a long and sometimes perilous one. The European explorers had previously been certain that their destination existed, mainly because they abhorred a vacuum, and couldn't believe there could be such a vast expanse of ocean without the existence of a great land. Some also believed that without a land mass south of the Tropic of Capricorn, the world would be tipped upside down, while others were fearful they would burn up whilst crossing the equator, a myth finally dispelled by the Portuguese voyaging around Africa.
Dutchmen Willem Jansvoon discovered Australia and Able Tasman discovered New Zealand, although Tasman thought New Zealand was a promontory of Terra Australis and, as a consequence, interest in New Zealand languished for more than a century because it was considered part of the rather inhospitable Australia.
Captain James Cook put that to right, sailing his ship The Endeavour around New Zealand, discovering an extraordinarily beautiful land that has been termed God's Own. It became a colony of the British Empire, and thousands came to seek their fortune, or to escape the harshness of their home countries.
Much has been written of the immigration to New Zealand, however the stories of women are still not prominent in published literature. Over the Wide and Trackless Sea, written by acclaimed historian Megan Hutching, provides us with a valuable insight into the lives of twelve of these pioneer women.
Their stories are wonderfully varied, including the privileged of Wellington, the landed gentry of Canterbury, gum diggers and whalers. They are mostly stories of hardship and hard work, of armed conflict and the loss of children. But they are also the stories of wonderful accomplishments and much love and friendship.
Woven together they make compelling reading and provide a multi-layered perspective of the colonial history of New Zealand.
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