Wednesday, 16 March 2016

Book Review : Sarah Mathew Explorer, Journalist and Auckland's 'First Lady" by Tessa Duder

Sarah Mathew, Auckland's 'First Lady' 


A governess, at age 17, a respectable job for any well educated middle-class female!, continues this occupation until the age of 25 when she accepts a proposal of marriage from her cousin Felton. (a common occurrence of the 1800's was for women to marry their first cousin) By this time he had a fledgling career as a surveyor and ambitiously accepts a job in New South Wales thus setting the scene for their life in the Antipodes. 

Tessa Duder ably uses Sarah's writings and diaries of her colonial adventures and sets the scene for a fascinating look at life in 1840 New Zealand where Sarah was to become the only woman ashore for the flag raising ceremony celebrating the birth of Auckland.

Women of this era had it tough, but they survived to become worthy of our notice and admiration, for all they put up with for their husbands and families, they were at the cutting edge of the history we have in our fair land, 

The author adds excerpts from Sarah's diaries, they graphically depict the scenes she encountered in her travels with Felton.

This book is a vivid and accurate account of the life of Sarah Mathew, and all early New Zealand settlers and sojourners.


Available to borrow now from the New Zealand History & Travel section at 993.24z MAT