Chowbokiana or Notes about the Antipodes and the Antipodeans.

Chowbokiana or Notes about the Antipodes and the Antipodeans.

[Bombay]: 1875.

Octavo, 100 pp., New York Public Library stamp on verso of title-page, preserved in solander box of half green morocco, marbled paper boards.

Rare: although often quite whimsical in tone, this work is in fact an empassioned plea to protect the Maori from the worst excesses of European settlement, and includes important comments on the wars: 'So much nonsense has been written of late about the land of the Maori by interested persons… that the writer ventures to offer these notes, in the hope that they may contains scraps of information useful to those who ought not to go there…'

Rare: although often quite whimsical in tone, this work is in fact an empassioned plea to protect the Maori from the worst excesses of European settlement, and includes important comments on the wars: 'So much nonsense has been written of late about the land of the Maori by interested persons… that the writer ventures to offer these notes, in the hope that they may contains scraps of information useful to those who ought not to go there…'

Thomas Cockburn-Hood (1820-1889), was one of Australia's early settlers, the first to take up the Peak Downs run, upon which the town of Rockhampton now stands. In his lengthy antipodean career he was appointed to both the New South Wales and Queensland Legislative Councils, and became a member of the Philosophy Society and a Fellow of the Geology Society of London. He spent some years in Canterbury, New Zealand where he took a deep interest in fossil remains. Cockburn-Hood died on 15 January 1889 in Edinburgh, Scotland (see Obituary in Journal of the Geological Society London, vol. 46, 1890).

With notes derived from any number of visitors to New Zealand, among whom the negative remarks made by Charles Darwin on the Beagle come in for especially critical comment, this work is, as Bagnall notes, 'a lengthy tirade against New Zealand, the social customs and pretensions of its European inhabitants with strong criticism of the reporting of incidents in the Taranaki campaigns.' The work is divided into three sections, on 'The Pakeha' (non-Maori settlers), 'The Maori and Anecdotes of the War', and a brief section on 'New Zealand its Attractions and Drawbacks'.

The "Chowbok" of the title was a minor character in Samuel Butler's Erewhon, a Maori chief with a taste for drink who nonetheless manages to outwit the narrator at every turn, becoming a bishop in London by the end of the book despite having never relinquished his original spiritual beliefs (see Roger Robinson, 'Samuel Butler, 1835-1902,' NZETC online).

Bagnall, 1302; Hocken, 295.

Price (AUD): $985.00  other currencies     Ref: #4002609

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