Thursday, 15 August 2013

Clive by Gary Baines

Having spent half my childhood in Clive, I’m probably quite biased when it comes to reviewing this book - but it really does deserve some praise. When I was growing up, visits to local museums seemed dominated by pictures of Hastings and Napier and dramatic scenes from the 1931 earthquake. Clive seemed to be overlooked and you could be forgiven for not realising its long history and its status as an up-and-coming little colonial town. 

This visually appealing and keenly awaited book changes all that. The extensive illustrations are beautifully laid out and vividly bring 200 years of history to life. Many of the photographs are from private collections and local history guru, Gary Baines, has done a wonderful job bringing them together into a coherent and accessible format. 

What I particularly loved about it was the sense that you were witnessing the personal yet epic battle to transplant a way of life into an unfamiliar landscape; a battle that was simultaneously occurring right throughout New Zealand, for better and worse. The history of Clive provides tales of triumphs and disasters along the way – national history, but in miniature.

The crafting of books such as this one are gifts to the community; gifts that allow us a glimpse past the present moment to see the layering of history in our own familiar, everyday surroundings. Much work has gone on behind the scenes to ensure that future generations have ready access to these stories and documents, and the beautiful cover art by Brent Redding provides the perfect giftwrap.  A big thank you to all those involved.

Reviewed by Spot 

Read more at:

Catalogue Link: Clive by Gary Baines with Craig MacEhrlich  

No comments:

Post a Comment