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A Life of J. C. Beaglehole: New Zealand Scholar


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Many People have Helped me as I have worked on this biography. It is a book which draws largely on the wealth of letters written by my father, and my greatest debt is to those who have given me letters or copies of letters in their care and allowed me to make use of them. They are listed in the note on the sources. I have also profited by discussions (in many cases following the reading of draft chapters) with a number of family and friends who knew John well. They included my brother Giles; my cousins Mary Beaven, Betty Beaglehole, David Beaglehole and Peter Beaglehole; Janet Paul, Nan Taylor, Bob Burnett, Frances Porter, Frank and Lyn Corner, Ester Einhorn, Jule Einhorn and, especially, my former teacher and colleague, Mary Boyd. Gary Hawke read most of the book in draft and I valued his encouragement. Alexa Barrow kindly read the chapters on editing Cook and John's working relationship with her father, R.A. Skelton. Parts were also read by Margaret Alington, Brigit Bruer (who provided the photograph of her father, Norman Richmond), Stuart Johnston, Doug Munro (who during his own historical work kept an eagle eye open for anything that might be useful for me), Hugh Price, Bill Renwick, Jack Shallcrass, Oliver Sutherland (who provided the photograph of his father, Ivan Sutherland) and Lydia Wevers. Diana Beaglehole sought out relevant material for me from the records of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

I am also grateful for the help I received from the staff of a number of libraries and record collections: the Alexander Turnbull Library – appropriately for a life of J.C. Beaglehole – the foremost among them; Archives New Zealand; the State Library of New South Wales (and especially to Arthur Easton of the manuscripts section); the Bernice P. Bishop Museum in Honolulu; the Hocken Library, University of Otago; the Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. The J.C. Beaglehole Room in the Victoria University of Wellington Library was invaluable in having copies of everything listed in the 1972 bibliography of John's work, as well as additional publications page 14collected by Kathleen Coleridge during her time as librarian. I am grateful to her and her successor, Nicola Freen, for their assistance. Richard Woods, Director of Security in the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service, released material to me from the J.C. Beaglehole file in their records and allowed me to quote from it.

Sydney Shep gave me a copy of her paper on John's typographical work on the centennial publications (since published in Creating a National Spirit: Celebrating New Zealand's Centennial edited by William Renwick) and has generously shared her knowledge with me. I have also drawn on the work done for research essays and theses by several students, especially Chris Hilliard, Ingrid Horrocks and Sonia Reesby.

In tracing Beagleholes in Cornwall and in Australia I have been immeasurably helped by a number of Australians with a taste for genealogy: Moyston Beaglehole, Fred Begelhole, Carol Both and, above all, Betty Murdoch. In Wellington, Patricia Ramsay has been equally generous with the results of her research on the Tiller and Butler families, and Margaret Alington's work on David Robertson and his family (for her book Unquiet Earth: A History of the Bolton Street Cemetery) has rounded out our knowledge of my father's forebears.

At the early stages of collecting material I received a grant of $8000 from the Historical Branch of the Department of Internal Affairs, most of which was used in having letters transcribed, with considerable benefit when I came to work on them. I am especially grateful to Donna Holt and Karen Gilpin for their work on this transcription and to the Historical Branch for the grant which made it possible. For the last year of writing and research I was delighted to receive the Friends of the Turnbull Library Research Grant of $5000. In writing a book there are a succession of costs, often small individually, but discouraging if totalled. The grant has been very helpful in this respect, but perhaps even more as a recognition of the value of the project.

Andrew Mason proved an ideal editor; Tordis Flath a painstaking indexer. My gratitude to them is matched by my gratitude to the Victoria University Press, and especially to Fergus Barrowman, a publisher of taste and discrimination, and Sue Brown. They have produced a handsome volume that I believe John might have viewed with favour. Last – and first – I owe thanks to my wife, Helen.