Seven Lives of Lady Barker, The

Gilderdale, Betty

  12 Reviews

The absorbing biography of Lady Mary Anne Barker, a widely travelled, adventurous Victorian woman who lived in England, India, New Zealand, South Africa, Mauritius, Australia and Trinidad. Momentous historical events of the period are recorded with a degree of equanimity. Best remembered in NZ for her classic book, Station Life in New Zealand. NZ Interest.

Comments from Groups

A fascinating story of an early pioneer woman's years in New Zealand and other British colonies. We found the book a bit detailed and dry but fascinating at the same time. Recommended. Auckland 134

Enjoyed it. Amazing life and very perceptive comments by Lady Barker. Mapua 001

Absolutely loved this book. Best for a long time, according to the group. Wellington 020

Betty Gilderdale's research is amazingly detailed...the way she has integrated letters from Lady B, letters from others and her own narrative has resulted in a perfect blend... a well crafted biography. Auckland 133

An enjoyable and information-packed account of a remarkable woman. Carterton 002



NELS 040
A very interesting account of a brave Victorian woman's life. Many adventures - all undertaken with courage, and while wearing a long skirt! Betty Gilderdale has surely written the definitive work on Lady Barker, sometime New Zealander.
3 of the group enjoyed the book. It was rather intense reading. Lady Barker an unusual lady for the times. Ahead of her time.
TAKA 001
All really enjoyed this book. Fascinating woman, remarkable times... and hats off to Betty Gilderdale for an absorbing biography.
Some very much enjoyed this book, while others found it poorly written and tedious to read.
This book was a real eye-opener to us all. In our minds 'Station Life in New Zealand' was what defined her, but instead she was a woman of, and for, the Empire - a real pioneer who had the gift of adapting her life to all times and places. Nothing seemed a challenge too far, and she lived fully in every situation. A few felt the book was too long , but so many experiences and cultures embraced could not be covered in a small way. Wonderfully researched despite the loss of much material.
Innovative, dauntless, remarkable, gritty, resourceful, intrepid and optimistic!
AUCK 307
A very informative biography about colonial life for people in the British Colonial Service. Sad that a woman with so much energy and so many talents didn't get better recognition and reward.
WELL 213
Betty Gilderdale more or less allows Lady Barker to tell her own story, and as Lady Barker is an excellent story teller, the whole book is vibrant and interesting. Ten out of 11 of us loved the book. Lady Barker's seven lives were so different that the reader is in awe of her adaptability and enthusiasm. Stories like her penchant for lighting fires, collecting rare birds, setting up a library for farm hands and writing children's stories to pay the bills, demonstrate that she was a remarkable and versatile woman...
HAVE 012
The opinions of this book were mixed, with those who enjoyed it mentioning the parts on Jamaica, N.Z. and India.
Great inspirational book - all of us were impressed/overwhelmed with Lady Barker's achievements!
CHCH 294
What an amazingly resilient woman. A real survivor.
CAMB 007
We were totally split on this one. Half felt it was fantastic, amazingly well-written, and they would read it again. A couple of us could appreciate what an amazing life she had had, but found the book hard going.