This is a second-hand copy of the book Settler Kaponga 1881-1914 by Rollo Arnold.
Condition: This is a used book in good condition. The cover has minor shelfwear - see photos.
Publisher: Victoria University Press Year: 1997 ISBN: 9780864733290 Format: Softback Pages: 383 Condition: Used (Good)
In 1981 Rollo Arnold published The Farthest Promised Land, a study of assisted English rural villagers who came to New Zealand in the 1870s. Thirteen years later New Zealand's Burning appeared. In it, Arnold used the fires of the summer of 1885-86 to explore the new rural world his immigrants were creating, the way the yeoman farmers he had introduced us to in his earlier work were settling down. Now, in Settler Kaponga, he completes his trilogy, returning again to the rural 'folk' of Taranaki, but offering readers a far more detailed local study of how one community moved towards maturity as the outside world intruded and shaped the people who made Kaponga their home. Kaponga is, he argues, 'a frontier fragment of the Western world' (p. 11) and Settler Kaponga is a microhistory, an incredibly detailed study of how the people of the area worked and played as the Victorian era gave way to the Edwardian period. The structure of Settler Kaponga reflects Arnold's strong belief in change over time. In the first part of the book, the 1880s are the focus. This was a time of bush clearing, a time when the township was more a hope than a reality. By the second part of the book, the 1890s, the township is real and farms, rather than 'clearings', define the area. Dairy factories, ready to supply the British market, mark the local economy. The area is becoming more connected with 'the world' as the telegraph, letters and visits 'home' are enjoyed by Kaponga's folk. In the final part of the book, 1900-1914, the outside world is intruding on Kaponga in new and more decisive ways. While the town grows up and concerns itself with issues like sanitation and local governance, so it also faces the impact of movies screening at the local hall, men going overseas to fight in wars, the' dairy industry developing and co-operatives forming to sell cheese on the British market. Kaponga may be a settler community but, Arnold argues, it is also part of the global system, it is a 'village world', a concept Arnold has used in his previous work. Arnold's familiarity with the Taranaki area and with this period shine through in Settler Kaponga. Years of research mean he can offer a thick description of the local economy, especially the rise of dairying. A heavy reliance on the files of the Hawera Star also offers a mass of detail about public leisure in the area. Unlike so many local histories, Arnold tells us how the settlers of Kaponga played as well as earned their livings. In the final section, especially, the richness of community leisure is clear. The local rugby team may have struggled over the years, but soccer, cricket and, later, hockey were important sports, alongside tennis, athletics, shooting, community sports days, local shows, picnics, dances and balls. Also unlike many local histories, Arnold is aware that the children of the area were important members of the 'village world'. Their letters to Uncle Ned in the Farmer and their work at school and on the dairy farms receive attention here.
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