Sunday, August 8, 2010

Book: In the Grip of an Island

It's about Stewart Island, written by Olga Sansom Q.S.M. (nee Jensen). Published in 1982 by Craig Printing Co. Ltd, Invercargill. ISBN 0 908629 00 1, with a formidable copyright statement.

Olga Sansom, (1900 - 1989?), was born on the island and so were her parents. She writes mainly about the history 1870's to 1920's and touches more briefly on the early history 1800 - 1850's.

The people mentioned like John Stockwell from London, Andrew Jose from Malaysia, Old Spunyarn who was either aboriginal or Pacific Islander, Karl Yunge and James Harrold (1818 - 1896), amongst many others, are colourfully rendered for us.

The book has a good structure, index, table of contents and bibliography,  is easy to read with some really good examples of how people would communicate, through flying flags and mixing various languages and odd turns of phrase.

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