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The Colonizing Pen: Mid-Nineteenth-Century European Writing about Maori

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dc.contributor.author O'Leary, John Terence
dc.date.accessioned 2008-07-29T02:30:01Z
dc.date.accessioned 2022-10-19T21:31:26Z
dc.date.available 2008-07-29T02:30:01Z
dc.date.available 2022-10-19T21:31:26Z
dc.date.copyright 2001
dc.date.issued 2001
dc.identifier.uri https://ir.wgtn.ac.nz/handle/123456789/22226
dc.description.abstract Maori and European New Zealanders are currently engaged in intense debate about their relationship. Inevitably, part of this debate focuses on the past, in particular on the mid-nineteenth century when European colonization of New Zealand occurred. The writing produced by European colonists in this period is a major source of information on the attitudes and assumptions of settlers as they encountered Maori, yet in practice the writing produced by the colonizing pen is little studied. This lack of attention from literary historians and critics limits our understanding of the period. "The Colonizing Pen: Mid-Nineteenth-Century European Writing about Maori" attempts to fill this gap. Four types of writing are examined: prose accounts, translations, newspaper journalism, and novels. Traditional literary critical analysis is applied to both published and unpublished material; it is supported by in-depth biographical information, discussion of historical and cultural contexts, and reference, when useful, to post-colonial literary criticism. This analysis reveals an increasing elaboration of writing by the colonizing pen as the century progresses, with writing about Maori changing from simple prose accounts to fully-fledged novels. It reveals, too, the radically transformative nature of this writing, in which Maori were processed, so to speak, for consumption by a European readership. A complex, paradoxical mixture of attitudes towards Maori is discovered, one which combines fear and desire, nostalgia and illusion. Some of the writing exhibits a careful editing of its Maori subject matter, an editing which is however covert and which has remained largely unacknowledged. The thesis concludes that the writing of mid-nineteenth-century New Zealand is more complex and interesting than is generally allowed, and suggests that we need to study it in greater detail if we are to arrive at a clearer understanding of the period's culture, attitudes and discourse. en_NZ
dc.language en_NZ
dc.language.iso en_NZ
dc.publisher Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
dc.subject Minorities in literature en_NZ
dc.subject New Zealand literature en_NZ
dc.subject 19th century en_NZ
dc.subject History and criticism en_NZ
dc.subject Tuhinga kōrero en_NZ
dc.title The Colonizing Pen: Mid-Nineteenth-Century European Writing about Maori en_NZ
dc.type Text en_NZ
vuwschema.type.vuw Awarded Doctoral Thesis en_NZ
thesis.degree.discipline English en_NZ
thesis.degree.grantor Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
thesis.degree.level Doctoral en_NZ
thesis.degree.name Doctor of Philosophy en_NZ

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