Title: The New Zealand Novel 1860-1965

Author: Joan Stevens

Publication details: Reed Publishing (NZ) Ltd, 1966

Digital publication kindly authorised by: Sylvia Johnston

Part of: New Zealand Texts Collection

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The New Zealand Novel 1860-1965

Chapter 4 (pp. 50-62)

Chapter 4 (pp. 50-62)

1. E. H. McCormick says of John Lee's Children of the Poor, that it "contained too much unassimilated descriptive matter and too many passages of undisguised propaganda for it to be classed in the first rank of fiction".

2. In Check to Your King the point of view throughout is really Robin Hyde's; she makes her controlling consciousness deliberately obvious. Yet frequently she varies this procedure by presenting her material indirectly, through Charles and his letters, or through the thoughts of Emily or Isabel. How well does this technique work?

Would you agree that the method adopted for the narration of Check to Your King is related to Robin Hyde's desire to show that "truths had second selves", and that the truth about de Thierry has "a double face"?

3. In an article in Landfall for September 1953, James Bertram comments on Robin Hyde, "... we must judge her literary output as imperfect, marred by attitudinising, and too often shrill ... we have noted in her certain limitations that were exaggerated—if they were not largely imposed—by the colonial dilemma ..."

What is your view?