Tuesday, September 23, 2014

New Zealand Bedtime Treasury - an absolute gem

Bedtime means storytime. And all across the land, little eyes are growing sleepy . . .

This enchanting collection brings together much-loved stories and poems by New Zealand's most popular authors and illustrators. 
Delve between the covers to find classic stories by Lynley Dodd, Bob Darroch, Margaret Mahy, Gwenda Turner, Patricia Grace, Pamela Allen and Peter Gossage; charming illustrations by Robyn Belton, Carl Bland, Jenny Williams, Robyn Kahukiwa and Gabriella Klepatski; plus gentle bedtime poems from James K. Baxter, Peter Bland, Ruth Dallas, Joy Cowley, Katherine Mansfield and Rosalyn Wyatt. 

It's time to plump your pillows, tuck in teddy and snuggle up close for your favourite night-time treat.

This book is an absolute gem; lucky indeed the child who finds this in their Christmas stocking -  Hardcover - Penguin Books - $45.00
Publication 26 September


By Fabian Capomolla & Mat Pember
RRP $49.99, large-format paperback.
Published by Macmillan
Reviewed by Dawn Forbes

This is the third book by these Melbourne-based enthusiastic and amusing gardeners.  All three are designed to help people grow their own food regardless of how much or how little space is available but this one is specifically for growing in small spaces.

Long-time gardeners will enjoy being reminded of how easy it is to create a good productive garden and perhaps learn a few new tips along the way. 
New gardeners will find the step-by-step photographic illustrations and guides helpful but may find it a challenge to absorb it all in the one-minute allocated for each skill.  The book will be a constant companion for the first year at least.

Some of the best advice is listed in the “Top 5” sections which include  easy growers, shade-lovers, climbers, small-space plants, money-savers, edible flowers, tomato varieties (they love the tomato season) and fast growers and others.

Gardeners with limited space are encouraged to plant vertically against a wall or in raised beds and there are good, easy-to- follow illustrations to set these up.  The raised bed has the advantage of being able to be placed on any surface and because they do not require digging are much easier on your back and knees.
It is a different style of gardening book, fun to delve into and easy to follow but I did find the extensive use of white text against coloured backgrounds sometimes difficult to read, especially when used for the smaller type of the instruction captions.

Dawn Forbes is a limited-space gardener and occasional reviewer on this blog of gardening and craft titles.

under the ocean - book launch invitation

Craig Potton Publishing and The Children’s Bookshop
warmly invite you to the launch of
under the ocean
Ned Barraud & Gillian Candler

Wednesday 1 October 2014 ~ 6.00 pm
The Children’s Bookshop, Shop 26 Kilbirnie Plaza, Kilbirnie

Join the author and illustrator, in association with
Craig Potton Publishing and The Children’s Bookshop,
for an evening celebrating the release of this delightful book for young
children about New Zealand’s sea life.

Drinks & nibbles provided. Signed books available.
Hardback $30.00 Paperback $20.00

RSVP by 29 September by emailing: books@thechildrensbookshop.co.nz

Specialize in translations & facsimiles of 15th to 17th century books

 Letter from Smith&Press - Specializing in Early Printed Book Translations and Facsimiles

  We specialize in translations & facsimiles of 15th to 17th century books, with limited production runs.  Our translations are primarily targeted for the research and academic community, and individual enthusiasts.  Our Latin to English Illustrated Translation of Hartmann Schedel’s Nuremberg Chronicle 1493 was recommended by ALA Choice Magazine for Academic Libraries. 

It now resides in more than 100 Colleges, Universities and Libraries Worldwide.  To view a list of who has purchased this unique translation, please consult the WorldCat database. 

This Translation is also available in our research grade digital library called The Library Connection (TLC).  We went to extensive lengths to provide comprehensive notes and sources from which Schedel compiled this monumental work in the 15th century.  This was a limited production run of 220 sets, of which only 75 remain.  You can also view an October 2012 Blog article and a November 2012 Press Release on Fine Books Magazine’s website regarding this Translation and our company, Smith&Press.  (www.finebooksmagazine.com). 

If you are interested in a set of the Liber Chronicarum Translation Series, or any of our offerings, please simply reply to this email.

Our offerings include:

Hartmann Schedel’s Nuremberg Chronicle 1493 Latin to English Translation Series (4 Volumes)
75 sets remain – Now Available - $1200.00
Facsimile – Sold Out

Gerolamo Cardano:Metoposcopia 1658 Latin & Greek to English Translation (Astrology)
50 copies only – In Production - Accepting Reservations - $385.00

Ketham’s Fasciculus Medicinae 1495 Latin to English Translation - (Medicine, Astrology, Women’s Studies)  50 copies only – In Production – Accepting Reservations - $385.00

Leonardo da Vinci: Codice del Volo - Facsimile & Italian to English Translation - (Dynamics of flight of birds)  Facsimile alone - Now Available - $475.00
Facsimile & Translation – Translation in Production - Accepting Reservations - $775.00
Translation alone – In Production - Accepting Reservations - $325.00

Philippo Finella: De Quatuor Signis 1649 - Latin to English Translation - (Astrology)
50 copies only – In Production - Accepting Reservations - $325.00

Leonardo da Vinci: Facsimile of the Codice Leicester - (Leonardo’s observations)
Facsimile Now Available - $750.00 (no current translation)

For more details on all of our offerings and upcoming works, please visit us at: www.smithandpress.com.  Questions and comments are always welcome. 
Thank you,
Specializing in Early Printed Book Translations and Facsimiles

The Tuesday Poem

The Tuesday Poem this week is 'Poroporoaki to the Lord My God: weaving the Via Dolorosa' by Anahera Gildea, selected by Helen Rickerby: 

Helen has written a fascinating essay about this poem and what it means to her, which is well worth reading in full. She begins:

"I came across this poem while typesetting the 32nd issue of JAAM literary magazine, the contents of which have been selected by this issue's guest editor, Dunedin writer Sue Wootton. The loose theme of the issue is ‘Shorelines’, and the poems, stories, creative non-fiction pieces and photographs in the issue deal with that theme in a variety of literal and non-literal ways.

The cover of JAAM 32

Sue has selected many amazing pieces for JAAM 32, but this poem is the one that has struck me the most. When trying to explain to my partner what this poem was, and why I loved it, I got really emotional in ways I didn’t expect. Not only is this a powerful poem, but it is so interconnected with other powerful stories and powerful art by powerful artists."

Poem of the week: Snow by Vidyan Ravinthiran

This fine, metaphysical work is as much a love poem as a love letter to that flaky white stuff

Monday 22 September 2014   

Snow by Vidyan Ravinthiran
'A miracle of whiteness on the pane' … a couple embrace in this image from the 1970s. Photograph: Dennis Hallinan/Jupiter Images
I like the way this week’s poem begins by arguing – not noisily, but with quietly casual insistence. “Snow” by Vidyan Ravinthiran, from his debut collection, Grun-tu-Molani, is a voyage around a subject that has brought out the best in a number of poets (not least Louis MacNeice). It might be in danger of melting under the heat of massed footfall. But Ravinthiran makes his own good snow: deep and crisp and surprising.

I’m tempted to say the poem is not really about snow. It’s an epistle or an epithalamium, a meditation on love and marriage, on the “dark alleys” of life and the illuminating flights. For Ravinthiran as for MacNeice, snow generates incorrigible plurality.

'bookshops are best route to market'

Bookshops in the UK and Ireland must “invest” to become “the best in the world,” the Bookseller Association president Tim Walker has told delegates at the Bookseller Association Conference in Warwick this morning (22nd September).

Walker made the rallying cry for bookshops to arm-up in the face of digital and online bookselling, telling the delegation that bookshops were still publishers’ and authors’ “very best route to market”.

Booksellers will succeed by engaging better with customers and reminding them that “bookshops are still the very best places to discover books,” Walker said. “In this modern bookselling era of p-books and e-books, the world has not ended for bookshops as many predicted. Yes it is tough, but print book sales through bookshops are still strong and whilst it is easy to become distracted by the allure of digital media, we must maintain publishers’ and authors’ focus on the fact that booksellers and bookshops are still their very best route to market.”

He added: “We should reiterate our belief that booksellers believe in freedom, diversity, partnership and a profitable book industry for all. We all need this profitability. Booksellers must invest to make our bookshops some of the best in the world.”

Walker also called on publishers to print high quality physical books and make sure they put “authors back at the heart of our trade” by paying them higher royalties.

“Publishers must continue to take risks, to discover exciting new authors and to publish books that are printed up to a specification and not down to the lowest price; and, of course, we booksellers want to see authors back at the heart of our trade being fairly and richly rewarded for their work,” Walker said. “We must reassure publishers and authors that as true partners, we booksellers will strive to work with them to bring the best of British and Irish publishing to the widest possible audience.”

Walker also welcomed new bookshops to the Association, praising their “excitement”, “drive” and “enthusiasm” for “breathing new life into our bookshops”, and said the industry should recognise more the great work that bookshops do. “In spite of all of this talent and passion and customer satisfaction, as an industry we are terribly bad at recognising the fantastic work that goes on in all of our bookshops, up and down the country, every single day,” he said.

Why Am I Brown? South Asian Fiction and Pandering to Western Audiences

Why Am I Brown? South Asian Fiction and Pandering to Western Audiences

September 20th, 2014 LA Times

I ONCE TOOK a guy I was dating to lunch at an Indian restaurant. I was trying to get him to go vegan, and there is no bigger hedonistic ritual for vegans than the weekend Indian lunch buffet, a guaranteed plethora of plant-based dishes that have been feeding Hindus, Jains, and Buddhists for centuries. We feast on curry, rice, naan, and sometimes that sketchy cubed melon, and sink into the stuffed plastic benches with heavy Bacchus bellies, hiccupping fiery chutney back into our throats (it hurts!) and forcing ourselves into Round 2 and 3 to get our money’s worth.

My date and I got in line, and his colorfully tatted arm handed me a warm plate. We stood behind a flock of sorority girls, patiently waddling toward the buffet items, passing over the meat but hovering above the vegetables. Even here, I was primed to ignore the standard korma dish, knowing it was heavy on dairy, and the spinach and paneer cheese. But as I scanned the steaming metal tins twice over, I grabbed my date’s plate away.
“Wait,” I said. “Nothing here’s vegan. This isn’t normal.”
“Well, maybe it is, and you just don’t know it, cause you’re from Pakistan,” he winked.

If I wasn’t so hungry and annoyed by the lack of buffet options, I might have thought my Caucasian date’s attempt at demonstrating he could distinguish between India and Pakistan was cute, even admirable. Instead, I started counting. Out of the 18 dishes offered, only one, the eggplant, was vegan. There was even a luxurious weave of heavy cream through the lentils — the most ubiquitous poor-man’s food on the planet. The stuff Gandhi ate while sitting on dirt piles in Gujarat half-naked.


The Roundup with PW

Hardcover Fiction Bestseller List
'Personal' by Lee Child is the #1 title on PW's adult hardcover fiction bestseller list. SEE THE FULL LIST » »

'Perfectly Normal,' Often Banned: Banned Books Week kicks off Sunday: Each year, the American Library Association takes this week to sponsor events all over the country to talk about the books that shock, offend and generally make Americans uncomfortable.

Vintage to Release Márquez E-books: Six months after his death at 87, Gabriel García Márquez is finally getting a digital makeover.

Mantel Fires Back: Hilary Mantel has delivered a defiant response to criticism of her imagined account of the killing of Margaret Thatcher by an IRA sniper.

First 'Gone Girl' Reviews In: The film is coming out on October 3, and should basically kick off Oscar season, and if the trade reviews are any indication, it’ll make money and generate awards buzz for its lead actors.

Amazon Workers Walk Out in Germany: For at least the third time in 2014, Amazon has been hit by a walkout at its German warehouses.



Alan Johnson MP in conversation with David Davis MP
23 October 2014, at the Frontline Club

Winner of the Orwell Prize for Books 2014, Alan Johnson MP, is in conversation with David Davis MP about how politics can shape lives, and how personal histories can shape one's political values. The debate will be chaired by the director of the Orwell Prize, Professor Jean Seaton.

Alan Johnson is the Labour MP for Kingston Upon Hull West and Hessle, and former Home Secretary. He won the Orwell Prize 2014 for THIS BOY, his autobiographical account of growing up in post-war London.

David Davis is the Conservative MP for Haltemprice and Howden and former Shadow Home Secretary.

The Orwell Prize 2015 will be launched at this debate, including a new prize for 'Reporting Britain's Social Evils', supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Further details will be available on our website, www.theorwellprize.co.uk .

This event has a limited capacity, so please register here and arrive early to be sure of a seat. We cannot guarantee places.

6.00pm Drinks

6.30pm Launch of the Orwell Prize 2015 and annoucement of judges

6.45pm Debate with Alan Johnson and David Davis

'Reverse Showroom' Conversion

Shelf Awareness

"There are two ways to your wallet: Your brain and your heart.... I thought if anything was going to break me out of the cold, hard, logic of showrooming, it would be a warrior-like conviction to save all local businesses from the menace of online retail.

"But I didn't have to hate Amazon. I just had to love a store.

"And that, I guess, is worth more than money."

--Mónica Guzmán in a Seattle Times column recounting her conversion, at Third Place Books, Ravenna, "from what's known as a 'showroomer' to what's known as a 'reverse showroomer.' "

25 Vintage, International Book Covers for H. G. Wells’ ‘The War of the Worlds’

Happy birthday to English author H. G. Wells, one of the fathers of science fiction. His 1898 novel The War of the Worlds, about a devastating alien invasion on Earth, has been published continuously for over 100 years. Orson Welles resurrected the frightening story for his 1938 radio broadcast, narrated by the director as a news bulletin, which led to widespread panic as listeners thought the Martian invasion was real. 
The War of the Worlds has been adapted dozens of times, most popularly by Steven Spielberg in a 2005 film starring Tom Cruise. But the book itself lives on in the imaginations of readers everywhere. After spotting a stunning collection of War of the Worlds book covers, we selected several vintage covers that span the globe. 
These images represent the influence of Wells’ story throughout the decades and demonstrate how different countries absorbed the intense, interplanetary tale into the collective consciousness. … Read More

With Stephen Fry, Penguin Crowdsources Future of the Book

Today's Feature Story:

In opening up its new Stephen Fry book to crowdsourced remixes, Penguin hopes to catalyze an amazing, disruptive reading experience.

Kenneth Clark’s "Civilisation" was to the TV historical series what The Sopranos was to dramas: the first and best of its kind which has never been equaled.
More News:

The 29-year old Brooklyn poet Casey Rocheteau has a won a free house in Detroit through a program to place writers in foreclosed properties.
Frankfurt 2014:

Find out what's happening in Frankfurt this year in our Frankfurt Book Fair Preview Magazine, including trade industry trends, publisher and agent interviews, can’t-miss events, and program highlights.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Devastating impact of the Waikato War revisited by leading historian

At a time of great focus on World War One, a new book by prominent historian Dr Vincent O’Malley draws startling comparisons with the Waikato War of 1863–64. Taking a new approach to analysing evidence on the war, O’Malley’s book challenges previous assumptions made about casualties suffered by the Waikato tribes.

‘This new approach to estimating casualty figures suggests that the scale of the losses suffered by the Waikato tribes was much greater than previously thought,’ says O’Malley. ‘Indeed there is every indication that the numbers killed and wounded may have exceeded those sustained by New Zealand troops during World War One in per capita terms.’

‘These estimates can, of course, be debated but it is clear from Census data that overall Māori losses in the Waikato War were horrendous.’

O’Malley’s essay on the Waikato War is one of thirteen featured in Beyond the Imperial Frontier, published by Bridget Williams Books, which reflect on early encounters between Māori and Pākehā, giving an insight into the different ways the two ‘fronted’ one another across the nineteenth century.

Beyond the Imperial Frontier: The Contest for Colonial New Zealand will be launched by Bridget Williams Books on 24 September 2014 at Victoria University. Prior to the launch Dr O’Malley will deliver a lecture on ‘The Waikato War: Myth, History and the “Art of Forgetting”’. O’Malley is continuing his research into the Waikato War and this will result in a major new publication with Bridget Williams Books in 2015. 

5.30pm, Wednesday 24 September
Vic Books, Victoria University
1 Kelburn Parade, Wellington

JD Stout Lecture:
‘The Waikato War: Myth, History and the “Art of Forgetting”’
4.10pm, Wednesday 24 September

McLaurin Lecture Theatre 103, Victoria University

Edge of Eternity by Ken Follett

Passion and conflict during the Cold War from master storyteller, Ken Follett, the final book in the ‘Century’ trilogy.

As the decisions made in the corridors of power bring the world to the brink of oblivion, five families from across the globe are brought together in this unforgettable tale.

When Rebecca Hoffmann, a teacher in East Germany, finds herself pursued by the secret police, she discovers that she has been living a lie. Her younger brother, Walli, longs to escape across the Berlin Wall to Britain to become part of the burgeoning music scene.

In the United States, George Jakes, a bright young lawyer in the Kennedy administration, is a fierce supporter of the Civil Rights movement – as is the woman he is in love with, Verena, who works for Martin Luther King, Jr. Boarding a Greyhound bus in Washington to protest against segregation, they begin a fateful journey together.

Russian activist, Tania Dvorkin, narrowly evades capture for producing an illegal news sheet. Her actions are made all the more perilous as her brother, Dimka, is a rising star in the heart of the Communist Party in the Kremlin. From the deep south of America to the vast expanses of Siberia, from the shores of Cuba to the swinging streets of Sixties London, Edge of Eternity is a sweeping tale of the fight for individual freedom in a world gripped by the mightiest clash of superpowers anyone has ever known.

Edge of Eternity
Ken Follett
Macmillan -  RRP $49.99, Hardback

About the Author
Ken Follett was twenty-seven when he wrote Eye of the Needle, an award-winning thriller that became an international bestseller. He then surprised everyone with The Pillars of the Earth, about the building of a cathedral in the Middle Ages, which continues to captivate millions of readers all over the world and its long-awaited sequel, World Without End, was a number one bestseller in the US, UK and Europe. Fall of  Giants and Winter of the World are the first bestselling books in the ‘Century’ trilogy.

Week ahead on Nine to Noon September 23-26

9-10am: News and current events; new reports of indescribable atrocities in Syria; how Estonia became the world’s most hi-tech country; US correspondent Jack Hitt.
10-11am: Novelist and short story writer, Elspeth Sandys opens up on her exhaustive search for her birth family and her career as a writer; Louise O’Brien reviews “The Children Act” by Ian McEwan; reading: “My Brother's Keeper” – written by Donna Malane and read by Alison Bruce (part 11 of 12).
11-12pm: Business commentator Rod Oram; Annette Parry of New Zealand’s Richard III Society discusses the latest scientific developments in the analysis of Richard III’s remains; media commentator Gavin Ellis.

9-10am: News and current events; the Islamist militia group that’s taken over Tripoli; Australia correspondent Peter Munro.
10-11am: Disability rights campaigner Sophie Morgan, who is walking again after ten years in a wheelchair, with the help of a high tech wearable robot; Quentin Johnson reviews “Dumont d'Urville - Explorer and Polymath”, by Edward Duyker; reading: “My Brother's Keeper” – written by Donna Malane and read by Alison Bruce (part 12 of 12).
11-12pm: Marty Duda features the music of his artist of the week; legal commentator Dean Knight; arts commentator Courtney Johnston.

9-10am: News and current events; youth voter participation; UK correspondent Jon Dennis.
10-11am: Indian-Canadian author Jaspreet Singh on recording and recovery from a nation’s shame; Paul Diamond reviews “White Ghosts, Yellow Peril - China and New Zealand 1790-1950”, by Stevan Eldred-Grigg with Zeng Dazheng; reading: “Mrs Taylor Jump-Starts the War”, written by Wix Hutton and read by  Fiona Truelove.
11-12pm: New technology commentator Sarah Putt; parenting commentator Christian Wright; film reviewer Dan Slevin.

9-10am: News and current events; Asia correspondent Jamil Anderlini.
10-11am: David Stuart Maclean on his harrowing memoir of forgetting, “The Answer to the Riddle Is Me”; Tilly Lloyd from Unity reviews books; reading.
11-12pm: Jeremy Taylor from Slow Boat Records plays new music; Radio New Zealand’s sports reporter Stephen Hewson on sports; comedians Te Radar and Michele A’Court tell jokes about the week’s news.

You can listen to podcasts of Nine to Noon's interviews and reviews on our website:

If you'd like to email us, the address is: ninetonoon@radionz.co.nz

You can also follow us on twitter: www.twitter.com/ninetonoon

Oamaru: New Zealand’s living Victorian town

Oamaru: New Zealand’s living Victorian town| 26 September 2014 | $55.00 | Penguin

In Oamaru: New Zealand’s living Victorian town, writer Paul Sorrell and photographer Graham Warman capture the unique character of a town where locals get about on penny farthings and parade in everything from bonnets and bustles to steampunk-inspired costumes.

Oamaru’s outstanding architectural heritage and the fascinating characters who choose to live a Victorian-themed lifestyle make this one of New Zealand’s most colourful towns. The people, places and events that lend Oamaru its authentic character are celebrated in this special book.
Ornately decorated whitestone buildings that in the 1800s housed banks, hotels and grain stores have been lovingly restored and become home to thriving artisan businesses – including brewers and whisky makers, a bookbinder, a soap maker, a working woolstore, a baker and a textile cooperative – that have transformed this South Island centre into one of the world’s best examples of a living Victorian town.

Stroll along bustling Harbour and Tyne streets and you’re likely to encounter locals bedecked in nineteenth-century outfits. Visit during the annual Victorian fête and you could easily think you’ve slipped back 150 years in time as women in crinolines and gentlemen wearing fancy waistcoats and top hats parade through the streets or gather for croquet and traditional high tea. Boasting more than just a collection of well-preserved historic buildings, Oamaru is a Victorian town at work.

Oamaru attracts international and local visitors both for its carefully preserved architecture and Victorian character and increasingly its steampunk attractions (Jules Verne meets industrial gothic). Locals hope to one day have Oamaru designated a World Heritage site.

With recipes from celebrated local restaurants, colourful insights into the variety of artisan businesses that call the town home and an in-depth look at the extraordinary phenomena of the steampunk movement, Oamaru: New Zealand’s living Victorian town showcases the best the area has to offer and proves that Oamaru truly is a town with something for everyone.

About the authors
Paul Sorrell is a writer, editor and wildlife photographer based in Dunedin.
He has collaborated three times previously with photographer Graham
Warman, on his first book, the best-selling Fleurs Place (Penguin, 2008), on
Trail: Riding the Otago Central Rail Trail (Penguin, 2011) and on Peninsula:
Exploring the Otago Peninsula (Penguin, 2013).

Graham Warman is an award-winning photographer with offices in both
Dunedin and Central Otago. He trained in London, learning from some
of the UK’s leading commercial photographers, and now specialises in
architectural and advertising photography. His architectural images have
helped win awards for many of his clients, and his photography has been
featured in magazine articles as well as culinary and travel books. www.

 Back Cover
 A scene from the 2013 fashion show in the opera house

 Slightly Foxed Second-Hand Books co-owner Jenny Lynch-Blosse

 Penny farthing riders assemble for race

An Event in Autumn review – Henning Mankell’s lugubrious detective Kurt Wallander is back, briefly

Published in English for the first time, Mankell’s delightful novella finds Wallander in typically dejected form

Kenneth Branagh as Kurt Wallander. BBC adaptation of An Event In Autumn. Left Bank Pictures
Kenneth Branagh as Kurt Wallander in the BBC adaptation of An Event In Autumn. Photograph: Laurence Cendrowicz/Left Bank Pictures
Henning Mankell’s lugubriously lonely detective Kurt Wallander is back – briefly. Originally written for a Dutch crime festival, the novella An Event in Autumn is set in 2002, just before Mankell’s final Wallander novel, The Troubled Man. Although the story was adapted by the BBC in 2012, starring Kenneth Branagh as the Swedish policeman, it has never been published in English before.
It sees Wallander living with his daughter, Linda, in central Ystad, dreaming of the countryside. As the book’s title tells us, it’s autumn, which naturally sets off the great detective’s gloom: “I shall never find a house, he thought. No house, no dog, no new woman either. Everything will remain the same as it always has been”, and other such deliciously dejected Wallanderisms: “nothing could make him as depressed as the sight of old spectacles that nobody wanted any more”.

If it weren’t enough just to be back in Wallander’s company, there’s also a crime to solve. Viewing a potential new house, he stumbles across human remains in the garden. It’s the clue to a decades-old mystery which Wallander is keen to get his teeth into; and no, he doesn’t buy the house.
This short tale is an absolute pleasure to read and worth luxuriating in. Mankell notes at the end: “There are no more stories about Kurt Wallander” and “I’m not the one who will miss him. It’s the reader.” Indeed.

An Event in Autumn - Harvill Secker - NZ$26.99

"The Strangest Family" review – Janice Hadlow’s engaging history of the Hanoverian court

King George III of England, Prince of Hanover (1738-1820), painted by Sir Nathaniel Dance Holland.
The strange world of the Hanoverian court: King George III (1738-1820), painted by Sir Nathaniel Dance Holland. Photograph: The Art Archive
Republicans and royalists alike will enjoy Janice Hadlow’s authoritative debut, which looks at the strange world of the Hanoverian court in 18th- and 19th-century England with wit and compassion. Hadlow focuses on George III and Queen Charlotte, whose desire to govern the country by moral example, especially as a happy and fruitfully married couple (with no fewer than 15 children), initially appeared to pay dividends but descended into chaos when he succumbed to a terrifying bout of madness and she to deep depression.

Hadlow’s particular skill in this lengthy book is to provide sympathetic, nuanced portraits of all of the main figures of the time, with enjoyable cameos from some of the rakes and debauchees of the age, such as the corrupt Foxes, a pair of father and son politicians, and the dashingly licentious Prince of Wales, while lending psychological shading to what is as much a family saga as a nationalistic one. If the allusions to Jane Austen feel like so much window dressing, then that is a minor flaw in a book that has all the flair and engaging storytelling as the documentaries that Hadlow was responsible for commissioning in her former roles in broadcasting.

The Strangest Family - William Collins

Sunday, September 21, 2014


6pm, Thursday 25th September, 2014

A celebration of contemporary Auckland poetry, this Essential New Zealand Poems reading features local poets included in the anthology: Raewyn Alexander, Stu Bagby Serie Barford, Siobhan Harvey, Michele Leggott and Iain Sharp. 

The poets will read from the anthology and other poems they have written. Copies of Essential New Zealand Poems will be available for sale.