The Strangest War The Story of the Maori Wars, 1860-1872 by Edgar Holt


Only 1 left in stock

SKU: 20230907x2L3 Category:


The Strangest War The Story of the Maori Wars, 1860-1872 by Edgar Holt

“Sir Frederic Rogers, Permanent Under-Secretary at the Colonial Office in the 1860’s, described the long struggle in New Zealand between the Maori natives and the British troops, with their colonial volunteers as “the strangest war that ever was carried on”. Though the underlying cause of the Maori wars was the white colonists’ desire to acquire land that legally belonged to the Maoris, they were in no sense imperialist wars; for most of the time, indeed, the home government was desperately seeking to withdraw all Imperial troops from New Zealand and to leave the colonists to fight their own battles–as they eventually did. Many notable personalities were concerned in the wars and the events leading up to them–empire-builders like Edward Gibbon Wakefield and Sir George Grey whose quarrels with the commanding generals in New Zealand provide some of the most bizarre incidents in the story; the memorable Bishop Selwyn; a gallery of new Zealand statemen. Among the Maoris, too, there were many remarkable characters, such as Hone Heke, hero of the “flagstaff war” who thought it unsporting to cut off his enemy’s food supplies; Wiremu Tamihana, the famous “king-maker” who confounded British governors with his apt quotations from the Bible; and Te Kooti, the escaped prisoner of war who waged a savage but brilliant guerrilla campaign against the colonist for four years. Mr Holt’s book is a modern and comprehensive description of a series of hard-fought wars, famous in New Zealand but little known elsewhere”

Hardback, first edition 1962, 280pages, good condition, wear tear chip in jacket, name on end page