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Maoriland: New Zealand Literature 1872–1914

Introduction: Colonialism and Embarrassment

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Introduction: Colonialism and Embarrassment

Maoriland is a Name for New Zealand still occasionally encountered, although it is no longer in everyday use. It is an archaic word with colonial associations, politically suspect in a postcolonial age. 'Maoriland' suggests the smug paternalism of a period now regarded with embarrassment, a world in which Maori warriors in heroic attitudes and Maori maidens in seductive ones adorned romantic portraits and tourist postcards. The decorative profusion of Maoriland — occasional tables carved with Maori designs and books of popular Maori myths — now have value as kitsch collectors' items.1 But for at least four decades of its short history, from the early 1880s to the late 1910s, once the first generation of Pakeha settlers had been replaced by a more modern, urban and self-inventing society, Maoriland was a literary synonym for New Zealand.2 It was the name by which New Zealand was known in Australia: from the 1880s it was routinely employed in the influential Sydney Bulletin, a term so familiar to readers on both sides of the Tasman that, as J. O. C. Phillips notes, it was shortened to 'ML'.3

Phillips traces the evolution of the term in the nineteenth century. Once the name Maoriland became established in Australia, he observes,

[s]ome in New Zealand, especially in the South Island, took offence at this term; but in fact 'Maoriland' had long been in use within New Zealand itself. The word had, however, changed its meaning. When, for example, Judge Maning used it in Old New Zealand [1863], he thought of 'Maoriland' as literally the land of the Maori, i.e. the territory and cutlure [sic] of the Maori.4 page 11By the end of the century Maning's 'Pakeha-Maori', that intermediary figure whose curious mixture of prestige and dependency reflected the dominion of Maori in the land to which he had come, had passed into history and the land of the Maori had become Maoriland.5

Late colonial New Zealand produced verse, popular fiction and literary journalism in which the term appears frequently. In 1890 Thomas Bracken named his collection of verse Musings in Maoriland. In 1901 William Satchell launched his journal, The Maorilander.6 The socialist magazine, The Maoriland Worker, ran from 1910 to 1924. Anthology introductions of the day and essays in both New Zealand and Australian newspapers and journals earnestly discussed the characteristics and prospects of Maoriland writing. What were those characteristics? As the term suggests, the central feature of Maoriland was the use of Maori sources to provide the descendants of the settlers with a history peculiar to themselves. While drawing on the conventions of romanticism, this material is also filtered through colonial ethnology to give it an air of authenticity and of ownership. Maoriland writing is able to be both fantastic and encyclopedic, to simultaneously invent and record. The habit of appropriation occurs in a period when Maori are conveniently figured as a 'dying race'. Maoriland is also characterised by a sense both of the landscape's sublimity and of the problems of forging a literary relationship with that sublimity. The contradiction at the heart of Maoriland is that its archaism cohabits with and compensates for the colony's sense of its own modernity. Maoriland belongs securely neither in the Victorian nor the modern period, but is a meeting ground between the two: the writing of Maoriland both partakes of nineteenth-century romanticism and, at times, anticipates twentieth-century modernism. In this it is quintessentially Victorian.

'Maoriland', then, is not synonymous with colonialism or with the colonial period; it is, rather, a word that was used to describe late colonial and early Dominion New Zealand,7 and which came to register the first literary evidence of a national consciousness. In the first decade and a half of the twentieth century Maoriland merges with a mood of imperial enthusiasm that leads into the war. By the 1920s the term appears less frequently in literary writing, although it remains prominent in popular literature, is still sometimes used as a colloquial term for New Zealand, and is encountered in tourist promotion. The term was becoming old fashioned. In 1924, The Maoriland Worker changed its name to page 12the New Zealand Worker. But its resonances lingered: as late as 1962 popular novels by Dulce Carman, The Maori Gateway: A Romance of Maoriland, and Ivy Preston, Magic in Maoriland, still took advantage of the term's archaic and romantic associations.8

Throughout these shifts in meaning, Maoriland is a term that denies what it seems to state: that New Zealand is a land properly belonging to Maori. Maoriland is a land of settlers who, having claimed for themselves the designation 'New Zealanders' once reserved for Maori,9 now feel comfortable enough about their identity and security to borrow the name of those they have supplanted. It is the literature of these settlers — of the 'Maorilander white species' [sic], as A. A. Grace puts it10 — that we are concerned with here, not that of Maori themselves,11 although we do explore in a chapter on Sir Apirana Ngata a way in which a place might be found for Maori writing in Maoriland.

In the 1930s with the emergence of a group of modernising cultural nationalists determined to eradicate the colonial taint of New Zealand writing, Maoriland was made to represent a set of wholly negative qualities: an atmosphere of feyness, of fairyland romance, characterised by the relentless mythologising of Maori, the decorative use of native flora and fauna, and an addiction to outmoded verse styles. The high proportion of women writers in Maoriland was associated by Allen Curnow and Denis Glover with sentiment, gentility and colonial deference.12 The shift in sensibility away from Maoriland representations of Maori is reflected in the differences between Alan Mulgan, prominent writer-journalist, and his son, John, who wrote the defining novel of New Zealand modernism, Man Alone (1939). In Brett's Christmas Annual 1934 the elder Mulgan labelled a Goldie reproduction of Arawa chief, Tikitere Mihi, 'A Relic of a Noble Race', while the younger dismissed it as 'the usual ugly Maori'.13

Alan Mulgan's imperial fervour and smug 'little New Zealand' nationalism was also out of favour with the younger set. While in Jessie Mackay's preface to The Spirit of the Rangitira (1889) E. H. McCormick found 'the first clear signs of national self-awareness',14 Curnow found in her poetry 'only the familiar pseudo-nationalism of the colony'.15 Curnow in his essays, reviews and anthology introductions is severe on the writers of Maoriland, establishing serious standards, as he saw it, for modern New Zealand writing by insisting on the failings of the colonial period, especially what he saw as a 'recoil' from immediate page 13realities.16 But he is not wholly dismissive of Mackay, acknowledging a limited continuity between her work and that of his own generation.17 Many of his most caustic comments are directed at the sentimental hangover of Maoriland nearer his own time, that of Quentin Pope's Kowhai Gold.18

Phillips characterises the orthodoxy established by Curnow and others:

From the beginning of European settlement through the first three decades of [the twentieth] century, New Zealand high culture was largely provincial, imitative and undistinguished. In terms of literary quality there was only the lonely miracle of Katherine Mansfield whose genius was able to flower once she had left her native land. Of native or distinctive traditions there was little trace.19

So complete was the dismissal of Maoriland writing by the generation centred on Curnow, Glover and Frank Sargeson that from the 1940s references to it in serious literary discussion are uniformly derogatory, a stance quite dissimilar to that of Australian and Canadian cultural nationalists who were eager to construct local nineteenth-century canons. In 1946, J. C. Reid writes of 'the hideous name "Maoriland" in the writing of the first years of the twentieth century and describes this period as 'a synthetic culture without a core'.20 Forty years later the characteristics of Maoriland writing are still available as an insult when the name is scarcely remembered. C. K. Stead in a review of the 1985 Penguin Book of New Zealand Verse dismisses the postcolonial stance of its editors by associating the book's bicultural organisation with the decorative use of Maori themes and markers in Maoriland verse: the editors, like Quentin Pope in his maligned Kowhai Gold, are dressing up New Zealand poetry by putting 'Maori in its hair'.21 From Curnow in the 1930s to Patrick Evans in the 1990s, colonial writing has occasioned embarrassment and contempt.22

Why, then, attempt to reanimate a period of our literature so universally condemned and so gratefully discarded? Our purpose is neither to discover neglected greatness nor to treat the literature of Maoriland merely as cultural information, but to attend to the writing of late nineteenth-and early twentieth-century New Zealand as a page 14body of literature that has not been systematically considered in terms appropriate to its own period. Maoriland is important because it is not only part of New Zealand history but a formative part; because that which embarrasses us usually tells us something important about ourselves we do not wish to own; because so large a part of the country's literature cannot be excised from memory without attendant loss of knowledge about the present; and because New Zealand's understanding of its literary and cultural past, even the most prestigious periods of that past, remains incomplete by comparison with that in other similar countries. Maoriland constituted the first generation of cultural nationalism in New Zealand, less radical and more tentative than the second. In Maoriland's awkwardness about language, influence and style are to be found ways of dealing with displacement, not avoiding it. In the use of Maori material to shape a locally marked literature are to be found the sources of an ongoing identity politics and a favourite mechanism by which Pakeha have continued to represent the nation. Maoriland is the period in which settler society in New Zealand consolidates itself economically and culturally. It exhibits qualities common to settler societies within empire generally, yet its literary ways of negotiating an identity — its habits of conscription and exclusion — are also particular to itself.

Stuart Murray has argued that the 1930s 'has not received the complexity of critical attention it deserves, either in the images of itself created by its practitioners, then and later, or by a subsequent generation of analysts'.23 Neither colonial writing generally nor Maoriland literature particularly has received much critical attention at all and, until recently, what it has received has been prejudiced by the success of the 1930s generation in creating their own literary mythology and self-imagery. As Suzanne Clark has observed, 'the modernist exclusion of everything but the forms of high art acted like a machine for cultural loss of memory'.24 Maoriland remains the 'black hole' in New Zealand's historical memory.25

Our purpose, then, is to direct serious attention at New Zealand literature from 1872 when Domett's Ranolf and Amohia first appeared,26 the year in which the engagement between the retreating Te Kooti and Gilbert Mair's Flying Arawa column mark the end of the New Zealand Wars.27 The book closes with the publication of Satchell's The Greenstone Door in 1914 and the beginning of the First World War. page 15The focus of this book inevitably raises questions about colonialism. Colonialism rested on a massive injustice by which people from Britain supplanted the existing population of this country. The literature of the colonial period rationalises, justifies and extends this process of conquest, displacement and appropriation; but we argue that the process of responding to the new world, discoverable in the literature of Maoriland, is far more complex, various, adaptive and uncertain than has been allowed by successive generations of commentators. In other words, 'colonial' signifies a heterogeneous set of cultural phenomena. 'Colonialism', as Rod Edmond observes, 'was never a unitary formation' — and this applies not only among but also within settler cultures.28 Even Sir Robert Stout, a century earlier than Edmond, points out that the New Zealand settlements were not transposed English villages 'but men and women from different parts of the empire'.29 James Belich has argued that colonialism consolidated settler identity,30 but our reading of colonial literary culture confirms Donald H. Akenson's view that the notion that 'the Pakeha people, at least those who came from the British Isles, were a single people', is mistaken.31 Not all colonial writers felt the same way about empire and race, and the writers themselves display conflicting and contradictory stances, often within a single text. Throughout our period there is a wide disparity in the attitudes displayed towards England and empire. Phillips observes that 'New Zealand lacked the radical republican anti-British tradition which Australia possessed.32 Yet the poet, Jessie Mackay, who proudly claimed the literary legacy of Britain, was not the only child of Scots or Irish settlers in New Zealand who saw herself as a surly subject of an empire not her own.

Moreover, around the turn of the nineteenth century, empire was an internationalising force in ways not often recognised. In settler cultures, alongside attitudes of deference, there was an optimistic expectation that the British Empire might evolve into an equal and progressive world community. Tony Ballantyne has described an intellectual network, or 'web', within empire.33 There was a considerable exchange of ideas, many of them, like socialism and feminism, progressive; some, like Vedanta, eccentric; some, like eugenics and racial theory, baleful. Nor was all the traffic of ideas from centre to periphery. There was more literary contact between Australia and New Zealand in the late colonial period than there has been since.34 The writers of Maoriland, particularly from page 16the 1880s, are open to influence from Australia, North America, and India. And their use of these influences is not universally marked by the belatedness that is taken to be one of the signs of provincialism and is often associated with colonialism. Curnow in his introduction to A Book of New Zealand Verse 1923–45 argues that by the 1890s 'a New Zealand generation … had made up its mind about what was "English"; it had ordered the sun to stand still at an earlier period'.35 Yet advanced trends as well as dated ones circulate through the writing of the period. The centre-periphery model of empire needs to be modified to accommodate the complex cross-affiliations and influences of the period. Literary nationalism's exclusive focus on the local ignores, and even denies, the international sources of the local. We demonstrate that European Romanticism, Irish and Scottish Celticism, the Victorian crisis of belief, the woman question, the beginnings of a modernist frankness about sexuality, ethnological speculation, arguments about modernity, archaism and race — are all registered in the writing of Maoriland.

Maoriland writing is deemed to be 'colonial' in the sense of being second-hand, imported, out of date and inappropriate to the world it represents. The forms and values of colonial literature are, of course, Victorian, and in the past Victorian literature was viewed through the lens of a disdainful modernism. Present-day literary scholarship has ceased to apologise for Victorianism, but in New Zealand the modernists' disdain persists. Colonial writing characteristically responds to the new world in terms imported from the old one. MacDonald P. Jackson observes a failure among colonial poets to establish 'satisfactory interrelationships between poet, readers, their common language a shared literary tradition between words signifying material realities and words conveying emotions'.36 However, this is to describe precisely the colonial condition, pitched between a world in which signs and things seemed to cohere and one where, unavoidably, they have spun apart. In those gaps between poet and reader, words and world, tradition and experience, as much as in Curnow's attention to the reality that is 'local and special',37 are to be found the 'something different, something / Nobody counted on' the poet imagined as the country's point of origin.38

Jackson observes that 'much that is most distinctive in nineteenth-century New Zealand verse coheres around ideas of "absence and difference"'.39 Being colonial concentrated a mood of loss of 'England, page 17life and art' for 'lonely islands' in 'that drear and shipless sea', as William Pember Reeves put it in 1898.40 Yet the idea of loss appears in Victorian writing generally as the loss of religious certainties and the confusions produced by modernity. Colonial life merely provided a concrete example, played out in the responses of Victorian writers — Browning, Trollope, Butler — to New Zealand. As early as 1848 in Agnes Grey and 1849 in Shirley, Anne and Charlotte Bronte use the New Zealand colony to figure loneliness, dislocation and loss.41 Butler noted that the South Island landscape occasioned 'dreadful doubt as to my own identity'.42 Browning's correspondence with his friend, colonist, poet and for a time premier, Alfred Domett, allows him to use settler New Zealand as a metaphor for his own depressed state of mind. Both Victorian society and the colony are, as Blanche Baughan puts it in 'A Bush Section' (1908), 'made, unmade and scarcely as yet in the making'. Baughan is here describing the unfinished condition of the settler landscape, yet her phrase echoes Matthew Arnold's 'Stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse' which escribes 'two worlds, one dead, / The other powerless to be born'.43

The efforts of Maoriland writers to explore their distance from both the world presented to them and the available conventions in which to write that world produced the beginnings of a literature in English distinctively marked by its New Zealand provenance. A later generation of cultural nationalist writers defined their poetic principles against what they saw as the colonial failure to notice local realities. In fact, the inadequacy of imported literary conventions was very frequently the explicit subject rather than the unexamined limitation of colonial writing. Here the boundaries between nineteenth-century writing and modernism blur; self-consciousness and the awareness of fragmentation, loss of the sense of the world as an organic whole are not concentrated on the near side of that divide. The colonial world was an ideal one in which to encounter modernity. Blanche Baughan and the young Katherine Mansfield illustrate this as much as James Joyce, Rudyard Kipling, Olive Schreiner, Robert Louis Stevenson and, in the English provincial context, Thomas Hardy and D. H. Lawrence. Modernism in New Zealand writing was not the result of a sudden eruption of unprecedented literary procedures and attitudes. It was already present in the colonial world. Mansfield may have become a high modernist writer after 1915 in Europe, but she did so by reorganising influences that page 18came to her not only from Wilde, Chekhov, Lawrence and Bloomsbury but also from the fractious colonial world in which she grew to young adulthood.

Maoriland was a period of both modernity and nostalgia. By the 1880s the world of the first generation of settlers had disappeared and the immediate memories of landing, contact and wars had dissipated. A consciousness of history was appearing at the point where its most dramatic period of making was moving into the past. This is the period in which Thomas Hocken is compiling A Bibliography of the Literature Relating to New Zealand (1909) and Alexander Turnbull is gathering his collection of New Zealand and Pacific material. William Pember Reeves is writing his history, Ao-tea-roa: The Long White Cloud, which appeared in 1898. Sir Robert Stout trumpets the transformation of the country from fragile colony to successful modernity in his preface to Musings in Maoriland, listing tonnages and debt ratios, as Katherine Mansfield's father would in his memoir, figures also appear in his compendious scrapbooks.44 Having achieved material sufficiency, the country was looking to accumulate cultural capital.45 As W. F. Alexander and A. E. Currie, put it in the introduction to their 1906 anthology, New Zealand Verse:

There is a time which some of us look for, when New Zealand will be assigned a place among the nations not only on account of its exports of wool and gold, or for richness and worth in horses and footballers, but also by reason of its contributions to art and science; — when there will be more than one New Zealand scientist in the Royal Society, and more than one New Zealand poet in the anthologies; and 'when New Zealand books, New Zealand pictures, New Zealand statues and buildings will gain some repute and note in the civilized world.' That time has not yet arrived. Nevertheless, there are first fruits ripe already, and if the sheaf we have bound is a very little one, it surely holds ears with no poor promise of good grain to come. And even the hardest-headed race of farmers and shepherds and workers in wood and metal has its dreams and its seers of visions (and even sends some of them into Parliament), and may be helped by the labour of such towards the deep-breasted fullness of mature nationality.46

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Michael King suggests that this period exhibits 'a modest first florescence of literature which revealed the beginnings of a sense of history … and of nostalgia for what was passing away (William Satchell's novels The Toll of the Bush [1905] and The Greenstone Door [1914])'.47 We would claim somewhat more. Now the colonial moment could be safely represented through the self-conscious creation of literature. In Maoriland writing we find a sense of how modern and fast-changing New Zealand had become by the 1890s, an awareness of change accelerated because it is so visible: by 1911 the majority of New Zealanders lived in cities or towns. Each generation wipes out the previous one, hence the need both to mythicise and to record the past generations, and hence the attractions of romantically conceived worlds as compensating images for the disruptive transformations of actuality. In this respect Maoriland writing looks to Yeats and Hardy in the United Kingdom, Gauguin, Jack London and Stevenson in the South Pacific — all are interested in what Rod Edmond, writing of Stevenson, calls 'the juxtaposition of the traditional and modern'.48 New Zealand is already the modern world, in which the old settler world is now observed from a distance; it appears in nostalgic and threatened pockets. As Blanche Baughan observes in Brown Bread from a Colonial Oven (1912), there aren't any colonial ovens any more; there are bakers and all the troubling signs of an energetic modernity. In Maoriland writing we encounter a voice speaking of cheese factories, cities, commerce, as if talking about London. At the same time, we find nostalgia for the pre-modern world of the colony: business is opposed to a vanishing authenticity. The romantic impulses of colonial writing, in fact, indicate not a lack of adjustment to new realities but a surplus of modernity in the immediate world.

At the same time that there is an insistence on modernity, there is also a continual recourse to the archaic. As Arnold says in 'Empedocles on Etna',

… we are strangers here; the world is from of old …
We shall fly for refuge in past times,
Their soul of unworn youth, their breath of greatness …

Indeed, modernity requires what Eric Hobsbawn calls the 'invention of traditions',49 not in compensation but as an act of self-definition. page 20A peculiar feature of settler societies is that the traditions they invent are habitually appropriated from those they dispossess, thus further 'ghosting' their presence. The exaltation of the primitive denies Maori a stake in modernity. Settler society lacks a past so it takes over that of those displaced; modernity thus invents the primitive on the site of its loss, a mechanism similar to that of Celtic-or Irish-Revival myth-collecting.

In spite of the name, then, Maoriland signifies an effort to deny the real presence of Maori in New Zealand in favour of a mythologised or decorative presence.50 This is part of the history of colonial settlement as described by Claudia Orange, where eventually New Zealand came to be seen not as a Maori society in which a place had to be found for Pakeha settlement, but as a settler New Zealand in which a place had to be found for Maori.51 In Maoriland, that 'place' was that of romantic fantasy. In a familiar colonial narrative the imaginative and actual erasure of the indigenous presence were closely related. Baughan's 'Pipi on the Prowl' (1913), in which the old Maori woman attempts to survive by cunning and amusing appeal, was published at a time when government was offering substantial loans to white settlers to develop land, loans which were unavailable to Maori landowners.52 It is not surprising that by 1939 in John Mulgan's Man Alone the Maori farming family is still struggling with more than the Pakeha burden of debt.

The Material Gathered in this book is largely new. Much of it has lain in archives and libraries, untouched save by the occasional scholarly researcher. Virtually all Maoriland texts are out of print, and most are sequestered in rare book collections.53 Histories of the colonial period, notably by Miles Fairburn, Donald H. Akenson and James Belich, exist, but the literature of the late-colonial period has not previously been separately treated.54 E. H. McCormick surveys the period in his 1949 history New Zealand Literature: A Survey. J. O. C. Phillips's important essay, 'Musings in Maoriland — or Was There a Bulletin School in New Zealand?', appeared in 1983. Heather Roberts, in Where Did She Come From? (1989), considers colonial women writers; Terry Sturm's Oxford History of New Zealand Literature in English (1991, 1998) covers the ground of each genre; his recent book on Edith Lyttleton focuses on an important writer, whose early career falls in our period.55 Jenny Robin page 21Jones in Writers in Residence: A Journey with Pioneer New Zealand Writers (2004) offers a biographical account of a range of colonial writers from Samuel Marsden to Blanche Baughan. Lydia Wevers surveys travel writing of the period in Country of Writing: Travel Writing and New Zealand, 1809–1900 (2002). We note growing interest by postgraduate researchers in colonial writing generally and are indebted to a number of theses and recently published articles.56 But no book on this crucial period in the shaping of New Zealand's literary culture has appeared to date.

In this book we endeavour to bring to light as much as possible of the primary sources. We are also concerned to place the material so gathered in the particular cultural and critical contexts that we judge to be most useful. Methodologically, we have been inspired by a number of recent works in colonial discourse studies, cultural anthropology and history: Declan Kiberd's Inventing Ireland: The Literature of the Modern Nation (1995), Rod Edmond's Representing the South Pacific: Colonial Discourse from Cook to Gauguin (1997), and Nicholas Thomas's Colonialism's Culture: Anthropology, Travel and Government (1994). While connecting the cultural forms of Maoriland to larger patterns of contemporary colonial discourse we aim to avoid the theoretical generalisations of what Rod Edmond has called 'the flattening juggernaut of colonial discourse analysis'.57

Although we place each writer in their cultural and literary context, our focus is primarily textual, and we are conscious that much research needs be done on the history of publishing and readership, and the question of audience — actual and imagined — in late colonial New Zealand. Most poets and short story writers in this period published initially in newspapers and periodicals, local and Australian, and publication in book form came, if at all, later, 'publishers' being generally jobbing printers or newspapers. (Domett is the exception here, his poem Ranolf and Amohia being written to effect his entry into the British literary establishment.) Novelists, on the other hand, were usually published in Britain — for example, Edith Searle Grossmann and, initially, William Satchell — and reimported by arrangements such as Macmillan's Colonial Library. How these material circumstances affected writers' writing and readers' reading, how much there was a New Zealand reading public as distinct from an Australasian, British or imperial one, the growth and influence of local publishing houses such as Whitcombe and Tombs — all need further examination.58

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This book is not a comprehensive survey of late colonial literature. We are aware of numerous other writers in this period — Vincent Pyke, Julius Vogel, Clara Cheeseman, George Chamier, David McKee Wright, G. B. Lancaster — whose work would reward similar analysis. Maoriland focuses on a selection of writers who illustrate what we see as the key concerns of the contemporary writing community: Alfred Domett, Jessie Mackay, Henry Lawson, Katherine Mansfield, A. A. Grace, Edith Searle Grossmann, Blanche Baughan and William Satchell. Others, like Arthur Adams, Edward Tregear and Thomas Bracken, are mentioned in passing. The chapters have been organised chronologically, not by date of birth of the focal author but by the periods in which their most apposite work appeared. Thus Jessie Mackay is placed according to when The Spirit of the Rangitira appeared in 1889, Lawson so as to reflect his period of writing about Maoriland in the mid to late 1890s, Mansfield in the period just before she left for England in 1908, Grossman when The Heart of the Bush appeared in 1910, Baughan during her key period of published literary activity, 1908–12, and Satchell according to the appearance of his most famous book, The Greenstone Door, in 1914. The centre of the book, then, is situated in the last decade of the nineteenth century and the first decade of the twentieth century, the period later commentators like Curnow and Phillips identify with Maoriland. Ranolf and Amohia, although earlier, is a foundational document. Our discussion is based on the 1872 version of his poem, which was written in New Zealand. We felt that to use the second edition of the poem, published in 1883, would have been unsatisfactory as the revisions and enlargements were added on his retirement to England in 1871 in response to the English literary culture of which he was so avidly a member.

Our purpose is not to defend Maoriland writing, but to examine it in less restrictive terms than those in which it has been examined so far, to look for its complexities rather than to repeat the negative generalisations that have usually served to characterise it. It is the period from which much of the reputation of this country for progressive social legislation derives. It is the period where the sources of modern feminism are to be found. It is the period that supplies us with the vocabulary with which we describe the landscape. It is the period from which we source, unwittingly or not, the roles by which we enact our bicultural relations. It is a period that still shapes the attitudes and values of our own time in ways of which we are not always aware.

1 Another decorative feature of Maoriland was the Pakeha fashion for adopting Maori names, Rata Lovell-Smith and Ngaio Marsh being notable examples. Anna K. C. Petersen in 'The European Use of Maori Art in New Zealand Homes, c. 1890–1914', notes the fashion for Maori names in upperclass Christchurch suburbs in our period, At Home in New Zealand: History, Houses, People, ed. Barbara Brookes (Wellington: Bridget Williams Books, 2000), p. 57.

2 H. W. [Harry] Orsman defines the term thus: 'Orig. or mainly a journalistic name for New Zealand as a whole (esp. freq. after the adoption of the term by the Sydney Bulletin in the 1880s, now infrequently used)', DNZE, pp. 478–9. Tony Deverson observes that, while Maoriland was a 'common journalistic term in Australia in the 1880s … [it] had little or no domestic currency', NZWords, no. 4 (August 2000), p. 2. Yet its ubiquitous presence in the journalism and literature of the period argues that it was also an affectionate colloquial word used by Pakeha New Zealanders. In 1884 the Union Steamship Company issued a guidebook entitled Maoriland: An Illustrated Handbook to New Zealand, indicating that the term was a widely understood synonym for the country: Maoriland: An Illustrated Handbook to New Zealand, compiled by Alex Wilson, Rutherford Waddell and T. W. Whitson (Melbourne: George Robertson and Company, 1884). Writing in The Red Funnel in 1907, 'Netta' objects to the Australian source of the term but observes its wide acceptance in New Zealand: 'Have we not drawn our sins of advertisement to a head by tamely adopting the foreign label of "Maoriland" for our country? As a foreign label it is melodious and inoffensive. It might have been Damperland or Nuggetland, or fifty other worse names. As adopted and ratified by ourselves it is as apropos and dignified as a sale-board at the front gate. The firm, unscannable "New Zealand" conveys all to the ear of the native-born that the soft foreign "Maoriland" can never suggest', 'The "Colour Problem" in New Zealand Literature', The Red Funnel, 4 no. 1 (February 1907), pp. 31–3. Cited in Hamish Winn, 'Reading Maoriland: New Zealand's Ethnic Ornament', M.A. thesis, University of Canterbury, 2005, p. 71. As late as 1928 Esther Glen in a children's book, Robin of Maoriland, wites: 'Maoriland is just another name for the little group of islands set like three shining emeralds in the blue waters of the Southern Pacific, and which the geography books call New Zealand', (London: Oxford University Press/ Humphrey Milford, 1929), p. 9.

3 J. O. C. Phillips, 'Musings in Maoriland — or Was There a Bulletin School in New Zealand?', Historical Studies, vol. 20 no. 81 (October 1983)', p. 527. In the Bulletin the term signalled New Zealand's difference to an Australasian reading public. Queensland was known as Banana land. W. S. Ramson, editor of the Australian National Dictionary (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1988), lists usages of 'Banana land' beginning with the Sydney Bulletin, 26 June 1880.

4 Phillips, 'Musings in Maoriland', p. 527.

5 William Satchell in The Greenstone Door (1914) reflects that when Hone Heke was at the height of his power, overwhelming the soldiers of the Queen, it occurred to 'the native mind' that the white man was not invincible: 'It was still, perhaps, possible by force of arms to thrust him back into his original subservient position of pakeha-maori', William Satchell, The Greenstone Door (Auckland: Whitcombe and Tombs, 1950), p. 202.

6 The Maorilander lasted just seven weeks.

7 New Zealand became a Dominion in 1907.

8 Both published in London by Wright and Brown. Maoriland was popular in the titles of romance literature. Esther Glen's Robin of Maoriland is noted above. Nellie Butcher's Rhapsodies of Maoriland appeared in 1945. As late as 1990 the genre is referred to in the title of Margaret Blay's Victoria in Maoriland, published by the feminist New Women's Press. The most tireless use of the term in book titles occurs in the collections of stories, travel accounts and sketches published and written by A. H. and A. W. Reed, Walks in Maoriland Byways (1958) being a representative example.

9 See 'New Zealander' 1a, DNZE, p. 533.

10 A. A. Grace in Australasian Autobiographies, 1900–1910, qMS-0095, ATL.

11 For an account of Maori writing in this period, much of it in the Maori language, see Jane McRae's essay, 'Maori Literature: A Survey', OH, pp. 5–21.

12 See, for example, Glover's 'Arraignment of Paris': '— But who are these, beribboned and befrilled?/Oh can it be the ladies' sewing guild?/ … /Our ladies poets these', Denis Glover: Selected Poems (Auckland: Penguin, 1981), p. 7.

13 Vincent O'Sullivan, Long Journey to the Border: A Life of John Mulgan (Auckland: Penguin, 2003), p. 114.

14 E. H. McCormick, New Zealand Literature: A Survey (London: Oxford University Press, 1959), p. 71.

15 Allen Curnow, 'introduction to The Penguin Book of New Zealand Verse', Look Back Harder: Critical Writings, 1935-1984, ed. Peter Simpson (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 1987), p. 146.

16 Curnow, 'introduction to The Penguin Book', Look Back Harder, p. 136.

17 Allen Curnow, 'introduction to A Book of New Zealand Verse 1923–45', Look Back Harder, p. 47.

18 Curnow, Look Back Harder, pp. 33-5, 39, ff.

19 Phillips, 'Musings in Maoriland', p. 520.

20 J. C. Reid, Creative Writing in New Zealand: A Brief Critical History (Auckland: The Author with Whitcombe and Tombs, 1946), p. 19.

21 C. K. Stead, review of The Penguin Book of New Zealand Verse (1985), ed. Harvey McQueen and Ian Wedde, Landfall, 39 no. 3 (September 1985), p. 299. On the treatment of Kowhai Gold, see Trixie Te Arama Menzies, 'Kowhai Gold: Skeleton or Scapegoat?', Landfall 42, no. 1 (March 1988), pp. 19-26.

22 Patrick Evans writes of Alfred Domett's 'Ranolf and Amohia': 'Like a stranded whale, the poem lies rotting on the beach of New Zealand literature, an embarrassment that no one knows what to do with', Penguin History, p. 43. Iain Sharp, reviewing Harvey McQueen's The New Place in the Evening Post, wittily presents the prevailing view the poetry of Maoriland: 'Alfred Domett makes me vomit/Pember Reeves makes me heave/And even Blanche Baughan is a technicolour yawn'. J. C. Reid's chapter on poetry to the Great War begins: '[t]here are few literary occupations more depressing, and less rewarding, than the study of New Zealand verse before 1890', Creative Writing in New Zealand, p. 11. Tony Kingsbury begins his 1968 Ph.D. dissertation by observing: '[t]o read bad verse in any quantity is in itself dangerously weakening to the brain — to do so without the sustaining prop of myopic prejudice would be suicidal', 'Poetry in New Zealand, 1850–1930', Ph.D. Diss., University of Auckland 1968, p. i.

23 Stuart Murray, Never a Soul at Home: New Zealand Literary Nationalism in the 1930s (Wellington: Victoria University Press, 1998), p. 12.

24 Suzanne Clark, Sentimental Modernism: Women Writers and the Revolution of the Word (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991), p. 6.

25 'The notion of a "black hole" in New Zealand writing between the 1890s and the 1930s — between the colonial impulses of the earlier period and the "genuinely indigenous" impulses of the latter is no longer acceptable without modification', Teresia L. Marshall, 'New Zealand Literature in the Sydney "Bulletin", 1880–1930, With a Literary Index (Volume Two) of the New Zealand authors Listed in the "Bulletin", 1880–1960', Ph.D. Diss., University of Auckland, 1995, p. 12.

26 Ranolf and Amohia was resissued in an enlarged English edition in 1883.

27 Michael King, The Penguin History of New Zealand (Auckland: Penguin, 2003), p. 218.

28 Rod Edmond, Representing the South Pacific: Colonial Discourse from Cook to Gauguin (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 1997), p. 12.

29 Sir Robert Stout, 'The Rise and Progress of New Zealand', preface to Musings in Maoriland (Dunedin: Keirle, 1890), p. 6.

30 See James Belich, Making Peoples: a History of the New Zealanders: from Polynesian Settlement to the End of the Nineteenth Century (Auckland: Allen Lane/Penguin, 1996), chapter 13, 'Getting In', pp. 313–37.

31 Donald H. Akenson, Half the World from Home: Perspectives on the Irish in New Zealand, 1860-1950 (Wellington: Victoria University Press, 1990), p. 6.

32 Phillips, 'Musings in Maoriland', p. 525.

33 Tony Ballantyne, Orientalism and Race: Aryanism in the British Empire (Houndmills, Basingstoke; New York: Palgrave, 2002), pp. 14-17ff.

34 Our own phase of globalisation has actually isolated national, apart from a select group of star authors, consolidating rather than ameliorating the hierarchical lines of power and influence in the publishing, distribution and marketing of books found in the late colonial period. Elizabeth Caffin, publisher at Auckland University Press, remarks: 'The Australian market views New Zealand books with supreme indifference and one can only fantasise about New Zealand literature having the same appeal there that New Zealand fashion does', 'Writer to Reader: The Publisher's Role', Writing at the Edge of the Universe, ed. Mark Williams (Christchurch: Canterbury University Press, 2004), p. 243.

35 Curnow, Look Back Harder, p. 48.

36 MacDonald P. Jackson, 'Poetry: Part One: Beginnings to 1945', OH, p. 403.

37 'Reality must be local and special at the point at which we pick up the traces: as manifold as the signs we follow and the routes we take', Allen Curnow, introduction to The Penguin Book of New Zealand Verse', Look Back Harder, p. 133.

38 Allen Curnow, 'The Unhistoric Story', Collected Poems 1933–1973 (Wellington: A. H. and A. W Reed, 1974), p. 79.

39 Jackson, 'Poetry: Part One: Beginnings to 1945', p. 408.

40 'A Colonist in His Garden', An Anthology of New Zealand Poetry in English, eds. Jenny Bornholdt, Gregory O'Brien and Mark Williams (Auckland: Oxford University Press, 1997), p. 496; quoted by Jackson.

41 See Jane Stafford, '"Remote must be the shores": Mary Taylor, Charlotte Bronte and the Colonial Experience', Journal of New Zealand Literature, 10 (1992), pp. 16–34; 'Anne Bronte, Agnes Grey and New Zealand', Bronte Society Transactions, 20 no. 2 (1990), pp. 97-99.

42 Samuel Butler, cited in Jenny Robin Jones, Writers in Residence: A Journey with Pioneer New Zealand Writers (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2004), p. 148.

43 'Stanzas from the Grande Chartreuse', lines 85–6, Poetical Works, ed. C. B. Tinker and H. F. Lowry (London: Oxford University Press, 1966), p. 302.

44 In his memoirs Sir Harold not only notes the increasing volumes of exported tonnage on the Wellington Harbour Board but also the increasing tonnage of the ships on which the family voyaged regularly to England 'because it is interesting to observe the steady growth in size of the ocean greyhounds', Reminiscences and Recollections (New Plymouth: Thomas Avery, 1937), p. 99.

45 Curnow comments on this in his introduction to The Penguin Book: 'Their assumption [that is, "the colonial and pre-national generations"] that if there was to be a nation there had also to be a literature — not at all the same thing as arguing that literatures have to be national — was an entirely reasonable one', Look Back Harder, p. 138.

46 W. F. Alexander and A. E. Currie, introduction to New Zealand Verse (London: Walter Scott, 1906), p. xv.

47 King, Penguin History of New Zealand, pp. 280–1.

48 Edmond, Representing the South Pacific, p. 191.

49 '"Invented tradition" is taken to mean a set of practices, normally governed by overtly or tacitly accepted rules and of a ritual or symbolic nature, which seek to inculcate certain values and norms of behaviour by repetition, which automatically implies continuity with the past', Eric Hobsbawn, The Invention of Traditions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), p. 1.

50 As King points out, 'most Pakeha living in, say, the four main centres were by this time unlikely to come into direct contact with Maori, and even in a provincial centre such as Hamilton Maori appeared only to sell vegetables door to door and did not live in the town', King Penguin History of New Zealand, p. 240.

51 Quoted in Augie Fleras and Paul Spoonley, Recalling Aotearoa: Indigenous Politics and Ethnic Relations in New Zealand (Auckland: Oxford University Press, 1999), p. 13.

52 See Peter Webster on the situation of the Tuhoe people in the 1900s when the Urewera remained undeveloped while government 'provided no loans, advice, or assistance in any form to help the Tuhoe raise their standard of living', Rua and the Maori Millennium (Wellington: Price Milburn for Victoria University Press, 1979), p. 142.

53 Julius Vogel's Anno Domini, or Women's Destiny was republished as a curiosity in 2000 with an introduction by Roger Robinson (Auckland: Exisle, 2000). Of William Satchell's novels, The Toll of the Bush (1905) is in print, The Greenstone Door (1914) is not. The poetry of the colonial period is more available through anthologies, with the 1997 Anthology of New Zealand Poetry ed. Bornholdt, et al. including it, after exclusion during Vincent O'Sullivan's editorship which went through four editions. Harvey McQueen's The New Place: The Poetry of Settlement in New Zealand, 1852–1914 (Wellington: Victoria University Press, 1993) covers the whole colonial period, though much of the material comes from the Maoriland period. Mansfield, of course, is easily available but she has long been seen as separate from Maoriland. Stories by Jane Mander, Blanche Baughan, G. B. Lancaster and Clara Cheeseman are included in Happy Endings: Stories by Australian and New Zealand Women, 1850s–1930s, eds. Elizabeth Webby and Lydia Wevers (Wellington: Allen and Unwin/Port Nicholson Press, 1987). One story by Henry Lawson appears in Vincent O'Sullivan's Oxford Book of New Zealand Short Stories (Auckland: Oxford University Press, 1994). Both Some Other Country: New Zealand's Best Short Stories, ed. Marion McLeod and Bill Manhire, third edition (Wellington: Bridget Williams Books, 1996) and The Flamingo Anthology of New Zealand Short Stories, ed. Michael Morrissey (Auckland: HarperCollins, 2000) pointedly start their selections with Mansfield.

54 Miles Fairburn, The Ideal Society and its Enemies (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 1989); Akenson, Half the World from Home; Belich, Making Peoples and Paradise Reforged: A History of the New Zealanders from the 1880s to the Year 2000 (Auckland: Allen Lane/Penguin, 2001).

55 Since the late 1980s work has appeared which has as its purpose the identification of women's writing in the colonial period. Notable examples are: Heather Roberts, Aorewa McLeod, Charlotte MacDonald, Lydia Wevers, Bridget Orr, and Linda Hardy.

56 Phillips, 'Musings in Maoriland', pp. 520–35; Bruce Nesbitt, 'Literary Nationalism in Australia and New Zealand with Special Reference to the Bulletin, 1880–1900', Ph.D. Diss., Australian National University, 1968; Tony Kingsbury, 'Poetry in New Zealand'; Marshall, 'New Zealand Literature in the Sydney "Bulletin"'; Kirstine Moffatt, 'The Puritan Paradox: The Puritan Legacy in the Intellectual, Cultural, and Social Life of New Zealand, Focusing Primarily on the Works of Novelists Writing between 1862 and 1840', Ph.D. Diss., Victoria University of Wellington, 1999; Louise O'Brien, 'Hybridity and Indigeneity: Historical Narratives and Post-Colonial Identity' M.A. thesis, Victoria University of Wellington, 1996; Daphne Lawless, 'The Sex Problem: Feminity, Class and Contradiction in the Late Colonial New Zealand Novel', Ph.D. Diss., Victoria University of Wellington, 2002; John O'Leary, 'The Colonizing Pen: Mid-Nineteenth Century European Writing about Maori', Ph.D. Diss., Victoria University of Wellington, 2001; Philip Steer, 'Disputed Ground: The Construction of Maori Identity in Novels of the New Zealand Wars', M.A. thesis, Victoria University of Wellington, 2004; Winn, 'Reading Maoriland'.

57 Edmond, Representing the South Pacific, p. 12.

58 We are aware that a history of Whitcombe and Tombs is in preparation. Terry Sturm's account of the publishing career of G. B. Lancaster, An Unsettled Spirit: the Life and Frontier Fiction of Edith Lyttleton (G. B. Lancaster) (Auckland: Auckland University Press, 2003), gives a detailed and instructive account of her relations with her publisher.