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BOOKS AND BOOKMEN

'From Tasmin to Marsden. 1 By Dr Robert M'Nab. Whitcombe and Tombs, Dunedin.

It is a relief to turn from the excitement of war news to the latest volume from the pen of New Zealand's historian, Dr M'Nab. His new book, 'From Tasman to Mareden,' says the author in his preface, is ono of a series intended ultimately to cover the period of New Zealand history between the discovery of tbe islands by Tasman and the appointment of a Governor over them in 1840. A perusal at once gives the impression that the author has excelled himself in his latest contribution to our early history. From the preface—which should not be skipped—to the last chapter there is plenty of well-told incident of the romantic period covered by the volume. The survey from Tasman's discovery to Marion's visit to the Bay ox Islands in 1772 is of intense interest, and as the incidents are arranged in chronological order this interest is sustained throughout. The expedition of Tnaman is followed till th* shores of New Zealand are reached by tlw adventurous explorers. The several details of the fights with tbe Maoris are- quoted from a journal kept by one of the sailors who accompanied the expedition, And proof is given of the necuracy of Tasman's charts of the New Zealand coast. The chapters on Captain Cook's first landing in New Zealand, his encounters with the Natives, and the narrative of the survey of the coast-line of the North Island are alsb graphically described. De Surville, the French explorer who visited these shores in 1769, gets a whole chapter to himself, and it is not tho least interesting in the book. Tho author's visit to Taxis and his researches there have enabled him to give the fullest account yet published of the Frenchman's visit. The chapter on the first timber trade and the whaling industry have also benefited by the author's researches in tho libraries of Australia, and many interesting facts are now made public for the first time. The account of the massacre of the crew of the Boyd, and the accurate information as to the boat leaving Sydney (quoted from the Sydney 'Gazette'), "the subsequent discovery of the fate of the vessel by Mr Berry, of the City of Edinburgh, read* like a page from "Robinson Crusoe,' and well repays perusal. Tho events which prompted Marsdcn to carry Christianity to New Zealand, the establishment of the first muaionaries, the steps taken for European settlement, tho alleged, cruelty of the European, sailors to the Natives, and the rigorous steps taken by Marsden to prevent further transgression should mmhml to everyone interested in the early ni.-'t'.rv and settlement of our country. iln» bibliography, the several indexes to ;'.i- .■(tnteits are both excellent and helpfrl he general index being especially so, a--, for instance, in the grouping together of ■•'! references to cattle, horses, fowls, pi-.- etc., under tho heading 'Agriculture!' The mora the volume is looked into' the more one is struck with the amount of detail and research made by the author, and we can only hope that Ins return to the field of politics will in no wav hinder the "continuance of this work, which is of so much value to the future historians of the country. The volume w well printed, is published at a reasonable price, and should be found not only in every librarv in New Zealand, but also on tho 'bookshelf in every home.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ESD19141121.2.99

Bibliographic details

BOOKS AND BOOKMEN, Issue 15656, 21 November 1914

Word Count
579

BOOKS AND BOOKMEN Issue 15656, 21 November 1914

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