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The Land of The Lost


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I am delighted to hear that this touching romance of New Zealand's Great Gumfield—the site of a once-magnificent Kauri Forest—is to be reprinted. Mr. William Satchell has written several stirring stories of bygone times in this most distant and delectable of all our British Oversea Dominions. All are characterised by the masterly touch of an accurate and eloquent delineator of pioneer life amid naturally beautiful surroundings replete with mystery, adventure and thrilling incident. But in none does he so completely capture the imagination or compel the continued and rapt interest of the reader as in this engrossing, but possibly ill-named, novel—"Land of the Lost". It combines within it the charm of a beautiful love romance, the thrill of a cleverly woven detective story and a lurid tragedy in which the worst of human passions—covetousness, insensate jealousy and revenge—eventuate in craftily perpetrated murder and its ultimate retribution.

New Zealand has been well designated by one of her leading statesmen "God's own Country", and so it is to-day, if its merits be assessed by its magnificent and varied scenery, its salubrious climate, its fertile soil and its lovable people of both races. But on its gumfield page viof 60 years ago, as in the goldfields of the sixties of last century, men of gentle birth and breeding and adventurers of degraded and unknown antecedents intermingled in their search for a valuable subterranean deposit. The hectic craving for nature's buried treasure, as this story well illustrates, makes strange bedfellows and brings to light in dramatic fashion the inherent virtues and vices of mankind. Incidentally this virile novel depicts in happy fashion the character and temperament of the Maori race, the most cultured of the coloured peoples of the world, ingenuously simple and easily imposed upon, but brave, capable, generous to a fault, and keenly imitative of their British compatriots. Seldom has a reprint been more fully justified on its literary merits.

Bledisloe Lydney Park September, 1938

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