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March 2008

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News and Reviews

New Zealand

This month's postings (see below) include a number of short story collections by Katherine Mansfield (, a notable writer who was born in New Zealand.

That reminds me that it is time I gave some space to Austrlaia's neighbour across the Tasman Sea, so here I go.

The Maoris were in New Zeland for several hundred years before Abel Tasman sailed up the western coast in 1643. See for a map and links to ebooks relating to Tasman and his voyages. Tasman failed to recognise that there were, in fact, two islands. He initially gave the land the name "Staten Landt." However, once it was discovered that the "Staten Landt" of Tasman was not part of the so-called "State Landt", the name "Nova Zeelandia", or "Nieuw Zeeland" was attributed. The name "Zelandia", or "Zeeland", appeared on maps for the first time around 1645.

In 1769 and 1770 James Cook, before sailing west and encountering the east coast of Australia, circumnavigated New Zealand and established that there were two islands separated by a strait (Cook Strait). See for a map and links to ebooks relating to Cook and his voyages. Cook named many of the geographical features as he sailed along the coast. One New Zealand name, in particular, that intrigued me was "Doubtful Sound" on the south-west coast. Was it 'doubtful' that it was indeed a sound? Reference to Cook's journal clarified the matter. Cook believed that if he took the Endeavour into the sound, it was doubful whether he would be able to sail it out again:

"A little before Noon [14 March 1770] we passed a little Narrow opening in the land, where there appear'd to be a very Snug Harbour, form'd by an Island, in the Latitude of 45 degrees 16 minutes South; inland, behind this Opening, were Mountains, the summits of which were Cover'd with Snow that seem'd to have fallen lately, and this is not to be wondered at, for we have found it very cold for these 2 days past. The land on each side the Entrance of this Harbour riseth almost perpendicular from the Sea to a very considerable Height; and this was the reason why I did not attempt to go in with the Ship, because I saw clearly that no winds could blow there but what was right in or right out, that is, Westerly or Easterly; and it certainly would have been highly imprudent in me to have put into a place where we could not have got out but with a wind that we have lately found to blow but one day in a Month. I mention this because there was some on board that wanted me to harbour at any rate, without in the least Considering either the present or future Consequences."

In "An Account of the English Colony of NSW", Volume 1, published in 1798, written by David Collins, (see the Conclusion gives an early account of New Zealand and its inhabitants as observed by the Europeans.

There is also a number of texts relating to New Zealand History at Project Gutenberg (, including:

Station Life in New Zealand
Five Years in New Zealand 1859 to 1864
A Narrative of a Nine Months' Residence in New Zealand in 1827

James Cowan ( was a New Zealand non-fiction writer, noted for his books on colonial history and Maori ethnography. A fluent Maori speaker, he was able to interview many veterans of the Land Wars. His book "The New Zealand wars: a history of the Maori campaigns and the pioneering period", published in two volumes, was considered the definitive account until recent times. We hope to make this work available at PGA in the future.

We might also devote a web page to New Zealand history and literature, so if you are aware of any other New Zealand writers who are represented at Project Gutenberg (US) or whose work could be turned into ebooks at PGA, please contact us via our contact page at


(Women speak of Friendship, Love and Marriage)

* * * * *

I never hated a man enough to give him his diamonds back.--Zsa Zsa Gabor

* * *

I count time by your absence; I have not seen you all morning, and is it not an age since then?--Peg Woffington

* * *

When she raises her eyelids it's as if she were taking off all her clothes.--Colette

* * * * *

Never go to bed. Stay up and fight.--Phyllis Diller

* * *

It doesn't matter what you do in the bedroom as long as you don't do it in the street and frighten the horses.--Mrs Patrick Campbell

Australian Poetry


Hey, there! Listen awhile! Listen awhile, and come.
Down in the street there are marching feet, and I hear the beat of a drum.
Bim! Boom!! Out of the room! Pick up your hat and fly!
Isn't it grand? The band! The band! The band is marching by!

Oh, the clarinet is the finest yet, and the uniforms are gay.
Tah, rah! We don't go home--
Oom, pah! We won't go home--
Oh, we shan't go home, and we can't go home when the band begins to play.

Oh, see them swinging along, swinging along the street!
Left, right! buttons so bright, jackets and caps so neat.
Ho, the Fire Brigade, or a dress parade of the Soldier-men is grand;
But everyone, for regular fun, wants a Big-Brass-Band.

The slide-trombone is a joy alone, and the drummer! He's a treat!
So, Rackety-rumph! We don't go home--
Boom, Bumph! We won't go home--
Oh, we shan't go home, and we can't go home while the band is in the street.
Tooral-ooral, Oom-pah!
The band is in the street!

From 'A Book for Kids' by C J Dennis

Last month's postings

A list of all the books we provide is available from
Check there to see if there are other works by the authors listed below


Mar 2008 Tales of Twilight and the Unseen, Arthur C Doyle  [] 1611A or .zip
[Author full name: Arthur Conan Doyle]
Mar 2008 Balaoo, Gaston Leroux                             [] 1610A or .zip
Mar 2008 Tong Torture, Emile C Tepperman                   [] 1609A or .zip
Mar 2008 The Blood-red Cross, Robert Eustace               [] 1608A or .zip
Mar 2008 The Face of the Abbot, Robert Eustace             [] 1607A or .zip
Mar 2008 In a German Pension, Katherine Mansfield          [] 1606A or .zip
Mar 2008 The Garden Party, Katherine Mansfield             [] 1605A or .zip
Mar 2008 Something Childish and Other Stories, K Mansfield [] 1604A
[Full Name: Katherine Mansfield] or .zip
Mar 2008 Again the Three, Edgar Wallace                    [] 1603A or .zip

Other Information

Newsletter Editor: Colin Choat.

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