- 19th century novels 1
R.N. Adams. The counterfeit seal: a tale of Otago’s first settlers. Dunedin: Otago Daily Times & Witness Co., 1897.
son of early Scottish immigrants, Robert Noble Adams (1849-1914) was born in
Dunedin and began working for the Otago Daily Times and Witness Company in
1865. His particular interest was British history, his writings sometimes being
coloured by his adherence to the belief of Anglo-Israelism. A Baptist and
staunch prohibitionist, he was a steadfast defender of his point of view.
Adams naturally turned to his company of
employment for publication of his first novel. Written and published for
Otago’s 50th jubilee, The
counterfeit seal is a tale of early Otago settlers, interspersed with
romance and deceit. The narrative features early historical figures including
Reverend Thomas Burns and Captain William Cargill.
Gilbert Rock. By passion driven: a story of a wasted life. Dunedin: J. Wilkie & Co., 1888.
Rock and R.W. Brock were amongst the pseudonyms utilised by the notorious
Dunedin solicitor John Alexander Barr. In rapid succession he wrote a handful
of ‘shilling shocker’ novels characterised by sensationalism, before
scandalously absconding as a bankrupt in 1889, leaving his family and a debt of
£10,000. The colonial romance By passion
driven is described by Bagnall as a “story of love, jealousy and an
unintentional killing, all in Dunedin.” The action is set amongst a number of
well-described streets in Central Dunedin, and at St. Clair.
R.W. Brock. Mihawhenua: the adventures of a party of tourists amongst a tribe of Maoris discovered in Western Otago, New Zealand. Dunedin: J. Wilkie & Co., 1888.
Mihawhenua is a lurid tale of
contemporary tourists who find themselves amongst a ‘lost tribe’ of Maori in
western Otago. The Maori people are portrayed as riding on saddled moa.