Sunday, February 25, 2018

Public History Talks resume on 14 March at National Library

Kia ora koutou and welcome to the 2018 series of monthly public history talks convened jointly by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage and the National Library of New Zealand.

To commence the series we’re delighted that noted author Redmer Yska is to be our first speaker on Wednesday 14 March

How does a city make a writer? In 'A Strange Beautiful Excitement, Katherine Mansfield’s Wellington, 1888-1903’, Redmer Yska explored how the late Victorian capital left an indelible mark on her.

Moving between grubby Thorndon and the green valley of Karori, Yska, himself raised in Karori, retraced Mansfield’s old ways: the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood. He tried, as he put it, to ‘catch a glimpse of her in the open air: striding through the gale, long hair flying’

His research into Thorndon’s festering, deadly surroundings also led him to propose a new theory for the family’s 1893 move to Karori: a long running epidemic of infectious disease that killed her baby sister.

Redmer Yska is a Wellington writer and historian and author of many works of New Zealand history, including a 2006 commissioned history of Wellington City:  Wellington: Biography of a City.  At this talk the author reflects on the book’s key conclusions.  

Time and place:

Wednesday 14 March at 12.10pm. The talk will conclude at 1pm approximately. Please come to Te Ahumairangi (on the ground floor), National Library Building, corner of Molesworth and Aitken Streets, Thorndon, Wellington. 

These free public history talks are a collaboration between the National Library of New Zealand and the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

No need to RSVP but space is limited so please be seated shortly after midday
in time for a prompt start.  We look forward to seeing you.

Note: talks are recorded and will be available online at

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