The Resource The face of nature : an environmental history of the Otago Peninsula, Jonathan West

The face of nature : an environmental history of the Otago Peninsula, Jonathan West

The face of nature : an environmental history of the Otago Peninsula
The face of nature
Title remainder
an environmental history of the Otago Peninsula
Statement of responsibility
Jonathan West
Bounded by the wild waves of the Pacific on the east, and the more sheltered harbour on the west, the Otago Peninsula is a remarkable landscape. Today a habitat for a diverse array of wildlife including albatrosses, penguins and seals, the Peninsula has undergone dramatic changes since it first attracted human settlement. In The Face of Nature: An environmental history of the Otago Peninsula Jonathan West explores what people and place made of one another from the arrival of the first Polynesians until the end of the nineteenth century. The Peninsula has always been one of the places in Otago most important to Maori. In 1844 they reluctantly agreed to split it with the British, but the land Maori retained has remained at the core of their history in the region. The British settlers divided their part of the Peninsula into small farms whose owners transformed it from native forest into cow country that fed a booming Dunedin -- at that point New Zealands leading commercial city. This rigorously researched, beautifully illustrated local history documents the rapid environmental change that ensued, which went far beyond the transformation from forest to farm, to the loss of birds, the exhaustion of inshore sheries, eruptions of pests and weeds, enormous sand-blows, and huge and sometimes sudden landslides. The speed and scope of change driven by human occupation of the Peninsula were summed up in 1901 by George Malcolm Thomson, natural scientist and historian. In just 50 years, he said, the whole face of Nature is altered. Already, alongside pride in what they had made of the Peninsula, settlers felt remorse for the losses they had caused. The book incorporates a rich array of maps, paintings and photographs to illustrate the making and unmaking of this unique landscape. In doing so it illustrates why the Otago Peninsula is an ideal location through which to understand the larger environmental history of these islands
Awards note
Ockham New Zealand Book Award for Illustrated Non-Fiction, Longlist 2018.
Cataloging source
Geographic coverage
New Zealand.
  • illustrations
  • maps
index present
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
The face of nature : an environmental history of the Otago Peninsula, Jonathan West
The face of nature : an environmental history of the Otago Peninsula, Jonathan West
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Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
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Carrier MARC source
Content category
  • text
  • still image
  • cartographic image
Content type code
  • txt
  • sti
  • cri
Content type MARC source
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
  • rdacontent
Part I: The primordial peninsula and people: -- He whenua hou: a new land -- Arrival and adaptation -- Continuity and change: making southern Maori -- Part II: The world washes ashore: -- Takata Pora: the people of the ships, European exploration, Maori discovery 1770-1830 -- "Soon may the Wellerman come": whaling at Otakou 1831-48 -- Part III: Improving God's creation: -- "A desperate struggle": British settlement on the Otago Peninsula 1848-61 -- The axe and the lucifer match: boom-time settlement of the 1860s and 1870s -- "The whole face of Nature is altered": 1881-1900
24 cm
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376 pages
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Other physical details
illustrations, maps (some colour).

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    • Otorohanga LibraryBorrow it
      27 Turongo Street, Otorohanga, 3900, NZ
      -38.1856293 175.2101216

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