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Pioneers of Martins Bay
Pioneers of Martins Bay

This remarkable personal record by Alice McKenzie (later Mrs Peter McKenzie) of her pioneering days in a remote south-west corner of New Zealand has a reputation as an outstanding and valuable historical record.  First published in 1947, Pioneers of Martins Bay received immediate acclaim, which led to a revised edition in 1952, with several printings thereafter.  Alice conveyed, as few other writers had done, or have done since, the reality of everyday life for many of the people who immigrated to New Zealand during the 19th century.

Alice's story of her family and other settlers in and around Martins Bay, some 30 kilometres north of Milford Sound, is one of endurance and independence in the face of hardship and isolation, experiences unfamiliar to most modern New Zealanders.  Yet clearly visible here are the roots of tenacity and single-mindedness that make up the unique identity of New Zealanders today.

This third edition of Pioneers of Martins Bay allows another generation of New Zealanders to become better acquainted with their past.  This book includes, for the first tine, excerpts from Alice's personal diaries and papers, faithfully preserved, reproduced and commented on by her only granddaughter.  This material adds a very personal touch to the spare, unbellished writing style of Alice's earlier published account.  It heightens the romance, humour, pathos and tragedy evident in her narrative, and brings new understanding to the many remarkable incidents she describes, including her encounter in 1880 with what she believed may have been one of New Zealand's last bush moa.

Price: $39.99

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