Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The daily lives of New Zealand's lighthouse keepers
Helen Beaglehole
Craig Potton Publishing - $49.99
This is a fascinating historical insight into the lives of New Zealand's lighthouse keepers. It is a sequel to Beagelhole's Lighting the Coast but whereas that book was about the developement and maintenance of the lighthouse system this title is about the men who manned them and their families.
And oh my what isolated and emanding lives they led, usually in the most remote of places.
Today the lighthouses are all unmanned of course but there remains a fascination for many of those bygone days and the author has done a superb job of research tracking down private letters, diary extracts, letterbooks, and records as well as conducting interviews.
Well illustrated with family snapshots and other photographs that depict life in those remote and exposed locations. A great piece of social history.
Pic left - Cape Reinga station 1960's.

Pic right - A new tank coming at Mokohinau, lare 1950's.
Pic left - Portland Island in 1946 - Friends and family always welcome. Jean Kroening's mother and her sister and children.

1 comment:

Penny Griffith said...

Yes it's a really appealing and readable book -- but NO INDEX! I'm surprised that Craig Potton let this happen; it's extremely frustrating if you're interested in checking out stories about a particular lighthouse.

Every serious non-fiction book should have an index!