Ali

A Victorian heroine

Mary Leslie (1863-1927) was a true working-class battler; she is one of my historical heroines. A recent visit to a remarkable medical museum – of which more later – brought her to mind. In 1890 Mary gave birth to a daughter in New Zealand’s first ‘successful’ Caesarean section; that is, one in which both mother […]

First footers and Christmas pudding

Over on the First footers and Christmas pudding page I’ve attached the text of a talk I gave at Toitū Otago Settlers Museum on the history of Christmas, New Year and Easter in nineteenth-century Dunedin. It considers how colonists from different ethnic and religious backgrounds adopted and adapted their holiday customs to fit with their […]

The quest for black bun

Will you be eating black bun this New Year? I’ll be trying this Scottish delicacy for the first time, having just done a little research on its history in New Zealand. It all started when somebody asked me if I’d be mentioning black bun in a talk I’m giving soon about seasonal festivities in nineteenth-century […]

Another blog!

Nau mai haere mai – welcome to my latest blog venture! I’ve been blogging for a couple of years at University of Otago 1869-2019 about my current major project, a 150th anniversary history of that university, and I also write the occasional post for The Hocken Blog, as I work there part-time. The inspiration to […]