ISBN: 978 1 877578 15 1
Born in Penzance in 1811, Colenso was perhaps the most interesting of New Zealand's early missionaries. A Church Missionary Society printer, he established the first printing press, was our first printer and printed the first book, 5000 copies of the New Testament in Maori, 365 pages in extent, in 1837. Next came 27,000 copies of the Book of Common Prayer in Maori.
ISBN: 978 1 877578 14 4
The provincial newspaper columns were the ‘public spheres’ of their time, places for geographically separated individuals to contribute opinions to the debates of an immature democracy. But equally they were the vehicles for the passionately held views of bigots egged on by unscrupulous editors eager for exciting copy. These letters from Colenso, and their replies, show colonial politics to be argumentative, fervent and nasty – and the rants of opinionated, self-styled experts are thrilling in their vehemence.