Biography, autobiography and memoirs by and about New Zealanders. Politicians, entertainers, sportsmen and prominent people, as well as memoirs of lesser known but interesting Kiwis. Self-published family memoirs and useful regional history recollections.All these fortunabooks.com prices are in New Zealand dollars.
A memoir of time spent as the wife of the lighthouse keeper of Stephens Island in the Marlborough Sounds.
The island is most prominent as a nature reserve for tuatara and other endangered species.
coastal buildings, lighthouse, biography, Cook Strait, Takapourewa
VG- softback with mild crease to covers.
Cape Catley Ltd. 2001, 228pp + plates.
Autobiography by New Zealand's greatest pioneer aviator. Jean Batten flew immense distances in record times and helped establish what later became airline routes. Revised from her 1938 My Life in 1979 .ISBN1853100234
VG softback with sunned spine
Airlife 1987, 190 pages + plates. [#2542 new zealand biography aviation flying ]
Biography of New Zealand's greatest aviator, sourced on secret memoirs found after her death, and hundreds of interviews. ISBN0708853323
Warner Books 1992, 465 pages + plates. [#2541 new zealand biography aviation ]
VG hardback with some soiling to closed page edges in a VG- dust jacket with splits to corners $25 C/C HArperCollins 1998 first edition, 374 pages. ISBN1869502795 [#2550 new zealand history biography ]
Scottish born New Zealand academic who attended the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow. In 1874 he was selected as professor of Classics and English, at Canterbury College in Christchurch (University of New Zealand). Under his patronage the College admitted Helen Connon as a matriculated student in 1876, the first Australasian university to admit women on an equal basis with men. Brown later married Connon and they had two children including Millicent Amiel, who later married Archibald Baxter, mother of James K. Baxter. Brown helped establish the Macmillan Brown Research Library at the University of Canterbury.
VG hardback in VG- dust jacket
University of Canterbury 1974, 224pp + plates.
VG VG inscr fep DW sunned spine
$35 C/B [NZ 34]
John McIndoe 1972 FIRST EDITION hard cover, 88pp + plates + 24pp plates at rear, pioneer colonial photographer and Christchurch notable
VG hardback with title label to cover, faint soiling $30 C/B Caxton 1941 first edition, 143pp. [#2392 nz history, biography ]
From the annals of New Zealand's most notorious cases as handled by Alfred Charles Hanlon the famous lawyer, written by the man responsible for the Hanlon television series. In the latter years of the nineteenth century and in the first three decades of the 20th, Hanlon's name was a legend in law. While carving out a one-man law practice from the entrenched partnerships of Otago's legal society, "Alf" Hanlon was to defend, usually with dramatic success, a great number of murder cases. His defence combined a forceful personality, keen legal skills and remarkable oratory - useful attributes at a time when death by hanging awaited those convicted of murder. Contents: Prologue: The Early Years, Regina v Dean (Minnie Dean), Regina v Clements (Charles Clements), Political Interlude, Rex v Kerry, Rex v Sweeney (Hugh Sweeney), Of courts and Colleagues, Rex v Stott and Bromley, Rex v Findlay, Cartoons and Caricatures, Rex v Connolly, Epilogue: Taking Silk
VG hardback in VG dustjacket.
BCNZ Enterprises 1985 First edition, 180pp. Illustrated.
Biography of Charles Luney, the founder of the prominent and successful construction company
. Many of the projects and civic buildings Luney built in Christchurch were destroyed in the 2011 earthquakes.
Charles Seymour Luney, construction, biography, christchurch
VG softback THIS COPY is signed by C S Luney 19/12/00
Hazard Press 2000, 176pp + plates.
William James O'Leary (1865-1947) was a prospector for gold and other minerals in Otago and Westland, making new tracks in unexplored areas. His astonishing endurance, tenacity, and eccentricity captured the imagination of those who met and knew him, and those who have only heard his legend. Denis Glover immortalised him in his famous poem ‘Arawata Bill’. This new edition includes information that has only recently come to light.
Exisle publishing 2005 New Revised edition, 196pp.
VG VG top of fep clipped
$35 C/C [NZ 75]
George Allen Unwin 1964 first edition hardcover, 298pp + plates and adverts, biography of the Bishop of Melanesia and New Zealand. very tidy copy.
From a Glasgow family Scotty was fostered out to a McLeod family in Dingwall before immigrating to the MacKenzie Country in New Zealand. He recounts his life and adventures including time as a musterer and rabbiter, and a spell with the army in Malaya.
VG softback, pen name to title page.
Homecrafts , Tekapo, 1988, 116pp.
By the wife of the founder (officially at least) of Canterbury, from her time in Canterbury and Wellington, a primary source for early colonial New Zealand history.
VG hardback with no dust jacket.
Whitcombe and Tombs 1951 first reissue, 387 pages plus plates. [#3589 ]
G+ hardback, rebound in book cloth with new endpapers, some pages with fold marks. No dust jacket.
Whitcombe and Tombs 1951 first reissue, 387 pages plus plates. [#2293 ]
G+ hardcover, the dust jacket has been cut into peices which have been used to grangerise the book, the title from the DW has been pasted down to the front paste down, and the blurbs from the flaps are pasted to the front and rear paste downs with some ink underlining to them, the date 12/12/52 has been written to the paste down twice, the cameo design of Charlotte from the DW has been pasted to the fep and the spine titling also, the person who did this also wrote their name and the name of the person they gave the book to around the edge of the cameo, there is a name and some writing to the top and bottom margins of the decorative border of the title page, and a name and address to the top of the dedication, a photocopied biographical reference is pasted to the verso of the dedication, the bank fly after the fep has four small holes to the edge where two staples were carefully removed, the rear fep has similar holes to top edge, apart from these noted 'additions' the book itself is clean and unmarked,
Whitcombe and Tombs 1951 first reissue, 387 pages plus plates. [#2794 nz biography ]
VG VG- light edge wear and short edge tears to DW, paper scar to fep.
$8 C/B [NZ 142]
Mallinson Rendell 1981 first edition hardcover, 158pp + plates. Autobiography of a famous actor and entertainer. ISBN 0908606087
VG G+ DW well rubbed at edges and with minor edge chipping.
$20 B/B [NZ 148]
Pegasus Press 1973 first edition hardcover, 114pp + plates. Biography of one of the Mt Eden Clifton Firth's with much on the rest of the family. Victorian New Zealand biography.
Biography of Frederick Aloysius Weld (1823-91) pioneer pastoralist in Wairarapa and Marlborough, and New Zealand Premier 1864-5.
VG+ hardback in VG dust jacket
Auckland University Press 1983 first edition hardcover, x 225pp photos in text. [#2340 + 2955 nz biography wairarapa ]
Record of a year on the Chathams by the wife of the rostered GP. ISBN072330114X
G+ hardback in G+ dust jacket
Whitcombe and Tombs 1970, 144pp + plates.[#2136 #2800 ]
A biography of Michael Joseph Savage. Labour politician and first Labour Prime Minister of New Zealand. Credited with establishing New Zealand's acclaimed Welfare System. A reassessment of his life and political legacy. ISBN0474001385
VG+ hardback in VG dust jacket with sun faded spine
Reed Methuen 1986, 369 pp [#2749 new zealand politics, biography]
The Story of Bill Hamilton, New Zealand farmer, inventor, engineer and jet boat pioneer (Colorado jet boat expedition of 1960).
VG hardback in VG dust jacket $45 C/C Reed 1979 reprint of 1969 original, 214 pages + plates. [#2473 nz biography ]
A New Zealander's dental practise before, during , and after the Second World War. Roy Hanan saw service with the New Zealand Dental Corps in Egypt and Italy during WWII, and was dental staff at Manapouri in 1926 and later in the 1960s at the Manapouri Hydro-electric scheme.
VG hardback in VG- dust jacket that is sun faded with minor edge wear. AUTHOR SIGNED title page.
Privately Published 1977 first edition, 181pp + plates. [#744 #2939 ]
VG hardback in VG- dust jacket that is lightly sun faded. A label has been stuck to title page with a gift inscription over what was once the author's presentation signature, now obliterated
Privately Published 1977 first edition, 181pp + plates. [#1127 new zealand, biography ]
An account of an early retirement to isolated cottage near Owhetoro Stream, Port Levy, on Banks Peninsula. The author claims she witnessed and photographed a New Zealand Otter in her garden.
VG hardback in VG dust jacket with sunned spine, name to endpaper.
Whitcoulls, 1975 first edition, 192pp. With photos and illustrations by Jean Oates. [#2592 new zealand biography canterbury ]
The memoirs of a West Coast teamster in the days when New Zealand was built through hard-slog and a team of good horses. Includes the Nelson region also.
VG hardback in VG dust jacket with light wear.
Reed 1961 first edition, 190pp + plates.[#1856, 3388 ]
Westland, Waitahu Sawmill, Newman Brothers, Takaka, Murchison, Teamster
Matagouri and Other Pricks will take you from Tibet to Antarctica; to Nepal with Sir Edmund Hillary; and to New York, Washington and the White House in the aftermath of 9/11. It includes the thrills and spills of a nursing profession; the excitment of launching a new career as a writer and publisher; the challenges of running a guiding business; and also the story of 'The Old Mountaineers' Cafe, Bar, Restaurant and Gallery' in Aoraki-Mount Cook National Park village. It recounts a battle with the Department of Conservation, yet it is also a love story, and an overview of the principles held by a New Zealand family, chief among them the refusal to give up, and how this and other factors helped to make the dream of 'The Old Mountaineers' finally come true.
biography, mountaineering, Mary Hobbs
Spirit Ltd 2010, 350pp.
Lynley Hood's account of her researching the life of Sylvia Ashton-Warner, and writing the biography "Sylvia!".
John McIndoe 1984, 311 pages. ISBN0868681210 [#2595 new zealand biography ]
A biography of Lorna Monckton of Newstead and her pioneering family in Featherston and the Wairarapa. ISBN 0723304165
VG hardback in VG dust jacket.
Whitcombe and Tombs 1975, 237pp + plates.[NZ128 #2720 #3188 ]
$10 C/B [NZ 33]
Collins 1967 FIRST EDITION hardcover socialist politicians autobiography of troubled criminal youth. Lee was later an M.P.
Robin Leech recounts his life story, focusing on the Floridale Angus Stud which he started at Kimberley near Darfield.
Canterbury, farming, livestock, biography
Robin Leech 2008, 176pp.
An autobiography, family history and genealogy by Bob Lynn of Alford Forest, Ashburton. There is early Ashburton history, as well as that of his forbears from Britain, and his many relatives in New Zelaand. Bob was well known as an expert joiner and carpenter, and founder of a museum of joinery, the Lynn Woodwork Museum . It is sited on the grounds of the Tinwald Domain and is part of the historical Plains Vintage Railway and Historical Village. Bob's ancestors were the Davisons of Ahoghill, Ballymena, County Antrim. ( Olivia Davison nee Burnett born October 1815).
Undated and self publsihed, but about 1980. 142pp + index. Illustrated. [#2856 new zealand, south canterbury, biography, genealogy ]
Biography of leading guide on the New Zealand Southern Alps during the 1940s and '50s. Ayres was a pioneer in the Mount Cook region of the Southern Alps and was a climbing partner of Edmund Hillary and taught him how to climb.
VG+ hardback in VG+ dust jacket
Whitcoulls 1982 first edition hardcover, 160pp + plates. [#2197 + BIO9 new zealand biography ]
VG VG- DW rubbed to joints and with splits at head and tail of spine.
$10 C/B [NZ 129]
M Joseph/ W&T 1960 first edition cloth, xv 189pp + plates. A biography of a pioneering Wellington woman doctor including stints during the two World Wars.
VG softback with owner details inside front cover
Shoal Bay Press 1997, 194 pages. ISBN0908704690 [#2535 new zealand biography animals ]
Warwick's forebears came to New Zealand from Drumartin, County Caven, Ireland. Born in 1920 Warwick Leslie McFadden was a commercial market gardener. He served with the Third Division Signals in the Pacific Islands during the Second World War. This is his account of his career and family.
VG- softback, has been contact sealed and with hinges strengthened by library. Issue labels and stamps, otherwise tidy.
Warwick McFadden 2008, 129 pp.
Memoir of Sir Roy McKenzie, who inherited the McKenzies department stores and used his wealth to set up a charitable foundation. Details his service in Bomber Command in WWII and involvement in alpine sports, skiing and mountaineering and trekking, at home and abroad.
Te Aro Press, 1998. 279 pp [#2948 new zealand, biography ]
New Zealanders in exile in the time of Hitler and Mao Tse-Tung. Based on letters, diaries and interviews this is the story of a group of Rhodes scholars, five young men from New Zealand; James Bertram, Geoffrey Cox, Dan Davin, Ian Milner, John Mulgan, caught up in the turmoil of their times: Spain, Hitler's Germany, Greece and North Africa, Eastern Europe, China.
Vintage 2003, 480pp.
[#3417, 3455 ]
VG hardback in VG- dust jacket with some minor wear
Published for Shona McRae 1985 first edition limited to 1500 copies (stated). [#2195 NZ biography Nelson Marlborough ]
VG hardback in G- dust jacket which is worn with tears and light stain
Reed 1966 FIRST EDITION 215pp clean book, DW not the best. [#2375 NZ Biography high country sheep dogs ]
$10 C/C [NZ 135]
Reed Methuen 1986 first edition hardcover, 207pp + plates. A near fine copy of the former Prime Minister's fourth autobiography. New Zealand politics. ISBN 0474002209
$10 C/C [NZ 136]
Reed 1981 first edition hardcover, 169pp + 4pp index + plates. A near fine copy of the former Prime Minister's third autobiography. New Zealand politics. ISBN 0589013858
VG+ VG small edge tears mainly at spine ends.
$10 C/C [NZ 137]
Reed 1977 first edition hardcover, x 224pp + plates. A tidy copy of the former Prime Minister's first autobiography. New Zealand politics. ISBN 0589010875
VG softcover $25 C/C Auckland University Press 1996, first edition, 464 pages ISBN 1869401557 [#2215 nz biography]
The life of Frances Ogilvie, a Presbyterian missionary who spent over 40 years in China and during WWII was in the Stanley Internment camp in Hong Kong as a captive of the Japanese.
VG hardback in VG dust jacket
Shoal Bay Press 1994 first edition, 108pp[#1794 new zealand, biography ]
The author has written an account based on the experiences of the many dispossed Poles who made it to New Zealand after being expelled by the Soviets. Krystyna is one of 732 'Polish children' who survived forced deportation to the Soviet Union and was given a home in New Zealand in 1944. Her remarkable story, a composite portrait drawn from interviews with Polish survivors, begins in a peaceful Polish village and follows her family's harrowing journey to a labor camp in Siberia, the terrible flight to freedom, and Krystyna's lonely voyage to a safe refuge in New Zealand
VG softback, some pencil notes inside rear cover
Shoal Bay Press 1998, 156pp.
Pelorus Sound memoirs Resident in Pelorus Sound from after the Second World War, Parsonson gives an account of the people and events.
VG hardback in VG dust jacket
Whitcoulls 1975 first edition hardcover, 199pp+ plates. [#1269 new zealand biography ]
VG hardback in VG dust jacket, with name to free end paper.
Whitcoulls 1975 first edition hardcover, 199pp+ plates. [#1629 new zealand biography ]
New Zealander and Wimbledon champion, Wilding dominated tennis in the decade before WWI. His career and life was cut short on the Western Front in 1915.
Canterbury University Press 2005, 451 pages + plates. [#2389 nz biography tennis sporting ]
Memoir/ biography. Raised in China by Missionary parents. Eucated at Cambridge to teach. With her husband she was in Czechoslovakia during the Nazi Occupation and for eight months helped to smuggle Jews out before fleeing and settling in New Zealand.
VG hardback in VG- sun faded dust jacket.
Oxford University Press1979, 215pp.
Upon Rutherford's death his widow presented his various medallic awards to the Canterbury University College (New Zealand). Awarded for his scientific genius, the collection represents the height of numismatic design in the period, with awards in bronze, silver, and gold. Includes a catalog of the medals, and photographs. ISBN0908812892
Canterbury University Press 1999, 88 pages. [#2446 new zealand biography, science ]
Very Good softback with minor sun-fade to spine
Canterbury University Press 1999, 88 pages. [#2486 new zealand biography, science ]
FN FN minor adheisve offsetting to feps from DW plastic sleeve
$15 C/D [NZ 80]
Auckland University Press 1976 first edition hardcover, xi 439pp + plates. Biography of an important New Zealand political figure. ISBN 0196479495
The Life of Gwendolen Lucy Somerset (nee Alley). Born in Springfield, North Canterbury in 1894. Autobiography and reminiscences of growing up in Springfield by the sister of Rewi Alley.
VG+ hardback without dust jacket
N Z Playcentre Federation 1988 first edition pictorial hardcover, 211pp, illustrated. [#1922 new zealand biography]
$65 B/$5 international [NZ 97]
w&t 1945 first edition sewn sheets in printed paper wrapper, 112pp + frontis portrait. SCARCE biography of an early Canterbury settler and lawyer / judge.
An epic bicycle ride around the WHOLE world on a bicycle between 1949-1956, Lousie later followed up in 1983 with "The Impossible Ride, the Story of the First Bicycle Ride Across the Amazon Jungle". In this first book she was travelling by cycle, but also spending time working as a nurse as her funds were restricted. Good travelogue through war-torn Europe and Middle East, also the American continents and Asia.
The half title has a presentation decication to Mr & Mrs Stevens, signed and Dated 1963 in Dunedin. Hand set and printed by the author, has illustrations by Pat Andrew.
VG hardback in VG dust jacket with a few tiny edge tears. Name blacked out to free end paper.
Southern Cross Press Ltd London 1960, first edition in the fourth impression, (vi) 128pp + plates, map end papers
The memoirs of a Ngai Tahu kaumatua from his enlisting in the Navy in 1939 when he was 15, through to his career as an Anglican Minister.
Peter Tauwhare was born and raised at Rapaki in Lyttelton harbour, later moving to the West Coast. After naval service in WWII and Korea he trained and worked as a teacher.
He recounts his experiences, and his struggles with alcoholism.
NZ10154 RNZN, Arch Deacon, HMNZS Achilles, HMNZS Arbutus, HMNZS Kaniere, Kai tahu, biography
VG softback, there is a large inscription on the blank verso of the acknowledgments page, from 'Nancy and Peter'. This is in a shaky hand, as Peter had suffered strokes.
The book begins with the contents and preliminaries, pagination starting with chapter one.
Expo Digital Media Co. Ltd. (2002), 163pp.
VG VG name to fep, reviiew clipping pasted in at rear, DW light wear and dust soiled to spine.
$10 C/B [NZ 149]
privately published in Geraldine by John McIndoe 1976 first editon hardcover,176pp + plates. Autobiography of a resident of Gerladine who started of in Yorkshire, served in the Far East (Hong Kong) and India, as well as with the NZ forces during WWII.
Ann Monroe Gilchrist (1875-1957) was born in the USA. A period teaching delinquent children caused her to specialise in home science, because she wanted to prevent delinquency rather than cure it. In 1899 she was one of the founders of the American Home Economics Association. Strong came to the University of Otago, whose School of Home Science opened in 1911, taking up her appointment as Professor of Household Arts in 1921. Strong had had a concern for the health and education of children. At the School of Home Science she ran a nutrition clinic for Dunedin children and their mothers. She also helped to organise the first children's health camp in the South Island. Maori health and education concerned her too. She advised the government on ways to improve these after personally investigating the situation among Maori in Northland.
VG hardback in G+ dust jacket
Pegasus Press 1963 first edition, 196pp.
The story of Rex A. Weber's company Sheep & Wool reflects on his personal and business story as a breeder and developer of quality wool, member of the Wool Board etc. Covers most breeds of sheep, and all aspects of the wool trade from the sheep's back to the finished products.
VG softback in VG dust jacket. Minor pen notes to inside rear cover. Name at front.
Cape Catley 1992, 166pp.
VG softback in VG dust jacket.
Cape Catley 1992, 166pp.
$30 C/C [NZ 138]
Govt Printer 1985 first edition hardcover, xii 263+ plates. Biography of early colonial missionary. ISBN 0477012647
Early days in Otago and Canterbury, author was a sole teacher in Waitohi Flat Irish settlement. Also in the King Country.
VG hardbackwith VG dust jacket with handling wear
Paul's Book Arcade 1959 hard cover, 240pp + plates.[#1788 + NZ110 new zealand, biography ]
The story of William Woods of Godalming, Surrey to Canterbury, New Zealand aboard ship in 1874. Includes shipboard diary.
VG+ softback $35 C/A publ. Barrie Woods 2000, 154 pages. [#2378 nz biography genealogy ]
A biography of the son of the early missionary Henry Williams. Samuel worked for Maori interests, founded Te Aute College and was a sponsor of the Young Maori Party.
VG hardback in VG dustjacket with lightly sunned spine
Pegasus Press 1981 first edition hard cover, 294pp + plates. [#645 new zealand, biography ]
VG hardback with no dustjacket, top corner area of fep trimmed,
Pegasus Press 1981 first edition hard cover, 294pp + plates. [#646 new zealand, biography ]