The social history of New Zealand's gold rushes, as used by Eleanor Catton in her research for The Luminaries.
A thorough and carefully researched history of the gold rushes in New Zealand. Based on sound scholarship and aimed at the general reader it's accessibly written in a clear, clean and lively style.
The scope is the social history of the goldfields of colonial New Zealand, from the 1850s to the 1870s. The book opens with a survey of worldwide rushes in the late eighteenth and the first half of the nineteenth centuries, when for the first time in history a great wheeling movement of gold diggers began to revolve from continent to continent.
The main body of the book looks at all the rushes, large and small, that took place in the colony: Coromandel, Golden Bay, Otago, Marlborough, the West Coast and Thames. The early chapters of the main body survey rushes chronologically; the later chapters look at rushes thematically.
'I owe a debt of gratitude to . . . Stevan Eldred-Grigg's history of the New Zealand gold rushes Diggers, hatters & whores.' Eleanor Catton, The Luminaries