Letters from the Bay of Islands: Story of Marianne WilliamsFitzgerald, Caroline
In 1822, Marianne Williams, her missionary-husband, Henry, and their three children left England for the Bay of Islands. A year later, they arrived at a remote one-house settlement where they stayed for thirty years. Marianne's letters to her family in England tell her story. Her courage and uncomplaining determination shine through as she describes, in vivid and compelling detail, the hardships and joys of their daily lives, their relationship with Maori, and the battles between different tribes. NZ Interest.
Comments from GroupsAs a documentation of pre treaty of Waitangi history of NZ; from a woman's point of view and as a missionary wife, we felt that the letters are invaluable. We had an animated discussion on all aspects covered in the letters. We felt great admiration for the way Marianne and other missionary wives coped with their lot of continual child-bearing, their own missionary work supporting their husbands and being a pivotal part of the community. Christchurch 010 There was general enjoyment of this book - as residents of the areas Marianne wrote about, we all felt better informed about the times and personal/historic background to our Bay of Islands. Russell 004 We were blown away by the faith the early missionaries and their families had, and how this enabled them to withstand so many dangers and hardships.... Putaruru 001 It is an historical record of life at the time, and everyone agreed it was worth reading although too long and a bit tedious. The early missionaries did a wonderful job befriending the Maori and learning their language, and under very difficult conditions... Hamilton 024 All group members were very positive about this book. We gained insight into the realities of early settlers' lives, their privations and threats to their wellbeing. The book provided first hand and reliable records of 'New Zealanders' back before there was much contact with Europeans.... Wanganui 010 We really enjoyed this book, although some of the content was repetitive - but that is what the life of a missionary's wife was like. All of us are interested in history, and the book brought those early years to life. Wellington 134