My Hand will Write what my Heart Dictates

My Hand will Write what my Heart Dictates

The Unsettled Lives of Women in Nineteenth-Century New Zealand As Revealed to Sisters, Family and Friends

My Hand will Write what my Heart Dictates is currently out of print.

Put aside preconceptions of straitlaced Victorian ladies or robust colonial maidens. Here is an altogether more authentic picture, richly told in the words of the women themselves. The women come from all walks of life: domestic servants, governors' wives, and farmers; they are married, single, widowed or deserted. Themes of love, loss, family and the daily trials of life are always present. Frances Porter and Charlotte Macdonald are two of New Zealand’s most distinguished writers of history. Here they have drawn on letters, journals, diaries and government records to build up a portrait of ‘life as it happens’ in nineteenth-century New Zealand.

Table of contents

1. Entering Nineteenth-Century New Zealand
2. A Place to Live
3. When Land Becomes the Argument – War in the North Island and Its Aftermath
4. Colonial Housekeeping and Moving in Society
5. Falling in Love – or Lust
6. Husbands and Wives
7. Expecting and Childbirth
8. Parents and Children
9. Seeking Independence
10. Death and Grieving
11. Epilogue – Writing On
Index with biographical notes

Print publication:
Ebook publication: Dec 2018
Pages: 518
ISBN: 9781869401290
ISTC: A02201200002123D
DOI: 10.7810/9781869401290

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'It is the direct entry into the thoughts of the women writers of these excerpts … that gives this vast collection so much vitality and punch. Each page is engrossing whether read consequtively or dipped into randomly.' Marj Anderson, Otago Daily Times.