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Europeans arriving in New Zealand last century brought with them a new device – the camera. The early development of this photography almost coincided with the beginning of this country’s European history and the photographs collected here provide a visual record of life in New Zealand from about 1850 to the present day.

There is the extraordinary – the tent town raised in Dunedin as miners flocked to the Otago gold-fields women voting in a national election for the first time in the world (New Plymouth 1893) as well as the everyday. There are pictures of sealing and whaling, of chiefs who signed the Treaty of Waitangi, of the Imperial Army advancing into the Waikato, of bush-felling and building, of farming and factories. These photographs and accompanying essays tell an arresting story of a country once described as ‘a land without a past’.

Photographic research in private and public collections throughout the country was shared by the two authors, who also collaborated on the text and captions. Both are specialists in their different fields, and they have combined their skills to produce a visual history that will be valuable to historians and general readers alike.

Keith Sinclair & Wendy Harrex authors, Oxford University Press, reprint 1979, 240pp, h/c, no dj, b/w photos.

Light discolouration to board edges, clean tidy interior.

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  • Seller location: Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, NZ

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