Wells, Peter, 1950-

The hungry heart : journeys with William Colenso / Peter Wells. - Auckland, N.Z. : Vintage, 2011. - 467 pages : illustrations (chiefly color), facsimiles, portraits ; 26 cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index. Includes bibliographical references (p. 424-453) and index.

Includes index. Includes index. -"Copyright Licensing Ltd Writer's Awards Winner"--cover. -This exciting blend of history, biography and creative writing offers a new way of exploring ideas, a new way of telling stories, a new way of shaping our past while focusing on the intellectual maverick William Colenso. Meticulously researched, it takes a tangential approach in exploring the essence of this shadowy figure. His was a troubled conscience in the white-hot period of colonisation. Both printer and missionary, Colenso experienced the country both before the Treaty and afterwards, protesting at its signing and putting forward views that were highly unpopular with the dominant settler majority. His fathering of a child by Ripeka Meretene led to his fall from grace, his views becoming widely dismissed. Through homing in on significant points in Colenso's life, this book re-examines his views, his times and his environment. This unique approach, along with details of the author's own journey of discovery and a wide variety of images, makes for a thoroughly intriguing and entertaining read.

"Printer, botanist and missionary, William Colenso was a nineteenth-century maverick, a true original. He protested at the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, arguing that Maori did not fully understand its implications. He became a troubled conscience during the white-hot period of colonisation, maintaining his dissident voice throughout his career. Peter Wells refreshes our vision of this awkward, highly talented man, who lost his family after the church expelled him for fathering a child by a Maori woman. Thrown out, Colenso found a home through his collecting - and we can reconstruct regions of New Zealand today only because of his botanical studies. He also found a home through words, writing a remarkable series of pamphlets that open up the past. 'I write for future generations, ' he wrote in 1881. The time has come to welcome Colenso back" -- Publisher description.

New Zealand Post Book Awards 2012 Non-Fiction Finalist.


Random House

Colenso, W. 1811-1899.

Printers--New Zealand--Biography.
Botanists--New Zealand--Biography.
Missionaries--New Zealand--Biography.
Printers New Zealand Biography.
Botanists New Zealand Biography.

New Zealand--History--19th century.