Book: Letters from the Bay of Islands

  • $4000

In 1822 Marianne Williams, with her missionary husband Henry and three small children, left England forever.

Their new home, in New Zealand's Bay of Islands, was a remote one-house settlement - the Church Missionary Society mission station headquaters. This was nearly twenty years before the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi. Marianne's only contact with the outside world was in letters home to her family in Nottingham. It is through these letters that her story can be told.

At a time when most women her age and class were enjoying the luxuries of industrial England, Marianne Williams was living among warring Māori tribes with unruly whaling crews across the bay. With her husband often absent, she was a nurse, midwife and surrogate missionary in the community , and coped with running the mission station and schools, providing hospitality to visiting European explorers - including Charles Darwin - and tending to her growing family of eleven children. Yet, despite these immense demands, in her letters the bravery and uncomplaining determination of this extraordinary woman shine through.

21 x 13

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