> Skip to content

The life and letters of one of the first European women to settle in New Zealand.

In 1822, Marianne Williams, with her missionary husband Henry and their three small children, left England forever. Their new home, in New Zealand's Bay of Islands, was a remote one-house settlement – the Church Missionary Society mission station headquarters. This was nearly twenty years before the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi.

Marianne's only contact with the outside world was in letters home to her family in Nottingham. It is through these letters that her story can be told. At a time when most women of her age and class were enjoying the luxuries of industrial England, Marianne Williams was living among warring Maori tribes with unruly whaling crews across the bay. With her husband often absent, she was nurse, midwife and surrogate missionary in the community, and coped with running the mission station and schools, providing hospitality to visiting European explorers – including Charles Darwin – and tending to her growing family of eleven children. Yet, despite these immense demands, in her letters the bravery and uncomplaining determination of this extraordinary woman shine through.

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780143205708

    August 1, 2016

    Penguin

    288 pages

    RRP $35.00

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

Recommendations

Mapping the Past
Where the Rekohu Bone Sings
Gandhi and Churchill
Rough Crossings
Too Close To The Sun
The Denniston Rose
Lords Of The Horizons
Jawaharlal Nehru;a Biography Volume 1 1889-1947
Journey to a Hanging
Son of France
Drowned Sprat and Other Stories
Columbus And Other Cannibals
Masters Of War
Mr Allbones' Ferrets
The Washing Of The Spears
Beneath Another Sky
Lost Kingdom: A History of Russian Nationalism
Collecting the World
The Last Englishmen
Africa's Long Road Since Independence