Matters of the Heart: A History of interracial marriage in New Zealand

Henry Reynolds


Matters of the Heart is an important and an engaging book. As Angela Wanhalla explains, it traces the history of interracial relationships in all their variety over a two-hundred-year period, beginning in the 1770s and ending in the early 1970s. And it is all done in less than 200 pages. But while the survey is necessarily thin in places the range is impressive, the prose fresh, the arguments cogent and sustained. A vast amount of research underpins the text carried out in archives and libraries all over the country, both in the major institutions but also in small specialised and regional collections. The bibliography lists a little fewer than 500 books and articles and more than 50 newspapers from all over the country, although the more engaged reader might appreciate the dates as well as the titles of the papers consulted.

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