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A Blighted Fame
A Blighted Fame

A Blighted Fame

George S. Evans 1802–1868, A Life


503 Pages, 6.5 x 9.5

Formats: Cloth

Cloth, $29.99 (US $29.99) (CA $35.99)

Publication Date: January 2015

ISBN 9780864738967

Rights: WOR

Victoria University Press (Jan 2015)

Price: $29.99


George Samuel Evans, barrister, editor, and politician, was a man of his time. A brilliant scholar with formidable skills in both oratory and journalism, he was bred to pursue the goals of civil and religious liberty. His dissenting background and upbringing in his father's parish in East London led to his passion for reform. A zealous, hard-working advocate for parliamentary and colonial reform, his path led eventually to New Zealand, a colony of ragged uncertainty, ambition, rivalry, and deprivation. When Edward Gibbon Wakefield, the architect of the systematic colonization of New Zealand, virtually abandoned his project, it was Evans who took up the reins. He and a small band of others assured the scheme's continuation and, for better or worse, spurred a reluctant government into taking action to procure the country for the Crown. Although a permanent tribute to him exists in the name of Evans Bay in Wellington, today Evans has become little more than a footnote until now. Helen Riddiford's lively and extensively researched biography acknowledges his immense contribution to New Zealand and Australia and allows his voice to be heard once more.

Author Biography

Helen Riddiford is a former primary school teacher who married Hugh Riddiford, the step-great-great-great-grandson of George S. Evans, in 1994. She began research on Evans's life in 1998 and addressed the New Zealand Historical Association's Conference in 2007 on the subject.