- 19th century novels 2
Vincent Pyke. The story of Wild Will Enderby. Dunedin: R.T. Wheeler, 1873.
Pyke (1827-1894) was born in Somerset, England and in 1862 travelled via
Victoria to Otago, where he worked as an administrator in the goldfields. He
came to Dunedin in 1873 to follow a career in journalism, working on the Southern Mercury and Otago Guardian. He also engaged in a
political career in Central Otago, where he was a sometimes divisive, staunchly
independent, non-party figure. In 1883, he returned to live in Dunedin where he
was a regular contributor to the Otago
Witness. Pyke’s first novel The story
of Wild Will Enderby was published in Dunedin in 1873. Set in the Otago
goldfields, the novel is coloured by Pyke’s first-hand knowledge of the area
and was popular with contemporaries.
Vincent Pyke and Thorpe Talbot. White hood, and, Blue cap. Dunedin: Joseph Braithwaite, 
The second work by Pyke on
display is White hood, a melodramatic
short story about the intertwined fates of two Otago gold-miners, one faithful
to his love, the other wayward. Pyke was also the writer of various non-fiction
works, the most notable of which was History
of the early gold discoveries in Otago (1887). He died at Lawrence and is
buried in Dunedin’s Northern Cemetery.
Walter Keay. Cabbage tree Jack and other colonial tales. Dunedin: T. Walker, 1894.
Keay (1865?-1945) was born in Queenstown and worked for 60 years as a
journalist. He began at the Cromwell
Argus, before shifting to Dunedin, where he worked on the Evening Globe. While in Dunedin, he
wrote Cabbage tree Jack and other
colonial tales, a series of short stories often with Dunedin settings,
including The shipping strike and When temptations assail. He subsequently
had a diverse career in journalism in Central Otago and later in Wellington,
where he became a recognised sporting writer.