Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Fine Prospect..A History of Remuera,Meadowbank and St Johns by Jenny Carlyon and Diana Morrow

This is the second collaboration of Carlyon and Morrow,their first being 2008`s Urban Village..A History of Ponsonby, Freemans Bay and St Mary`s Bay which was excellent.
This book is history on a plate, presented exactly as it should be. Clearly written, factually sound, well researched and beautifully illustrated, like their previous book it simply brings the place to life. The times, the places, the values, the homes, the businesses, the clothes, the parties, the victories and triumphs, the dissolution and bad times, it is so real, so vivid that you can relate, understand, emphasise and get to know the people that built these places so well that you come away thinking you actually did know them. There are many memories tucked away that have been kindled by these authors and in allowing their stories to be told, their homes to be shared a time that has passed by is not allowed to be forgotten. Many Aucklanders who read this book will find themselves driving through this area on a sunny day and looking for those homes and businesses that are still there (many) and for those places where such and such used to be.
The social values and the influences those values had on how they built this area from bare land into what we see today are portrayed with a fineness of hand and yet realistically, how you were seen, who your relatives were, what your financial bearing and religious devotion was were all encompassing in how you were received or not as may be the case, many of these would be relevant today with a little more ease perhaps.
This book is a credit to all who had a hand in it, it would be nice to buy it for yourself, even nicer as a gift.

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