Last Monday – a public holiday in Wellington – was a sunny day and I went for a casual saunter along the waterfront, starting a block from the Freyberg Building, before heading along it to the Freyberg Pool and Freyberg Beach. In case you think there’s a certain theme there, you’re right. Just then my … More Hot news about matters Freyberg
My recent biography of Bernard Freyberg – Freyberg: A Life’s Journey – was explicitly not a military story. His career was, of course, primarily defined by his army life, from First World War action-hero to Second World War commander. But I had already written a biography of his wars and what his field actions meant … More History is a discussion, not a final truth
I’ve lost count of the number of copies of Freyberg: A Life’s Journey I’ve signed in the past six weeks. Really. I’ve been out and about promoting the book, visiting bookshops, giving talks, meeting people – and signing. Mostly on weekends because that’s when customers usually buy. My publicist at Oratia, Belinda, worked hard to … More Touring the bookstores with ‘Freyberg: A Life’s Journey’
The essence of a biography, at least to me, is exploring the character of a person. Merely knowing what somebody did in their life isn’t enough: we have to know why. And that, of course, is also what novellists do. This doesn’t mean that a biographer makes stuff up. On the contrary, the data is … More Why writing a biography is a bit like writing a novel
Ever wondered what Peter Pan would have been like, had he grown up? Peter Pan’s creator, James Barrie, knew, because that is how he described his friend Bernard Freyberg. Barrie, a successful playwright, met Freyberg while the latter was recovering in a London hospital from war wounds in 1916-17. They formed a firm friendship, thought … More When Peter Pan grew up
Back in 1928, D. H. Lawrence published a book that rocked Britain. It appeared first in France. When he tried to get it released in Britain, it was banned. Lady Chatterley’s Lover finally appeared in expurgated form, both in Britain and the United States. But when Penguin tried to publish it, uncensored, in 1960, they … More The story of Lady Chatterley’s (real) lover
Hot news, my friends. My book Freyberg: A Life’s Journey is being released on 6 October by Oratia Books. It’ll be available in all good New Zealand bookshops, and internationally by direct sale from the publisher’s website. It is the story of one of New Zealand’s greatest heroes; a household name through the middle decades … More Freyberg: a life’s journey
When I was looking around for a new car a couple of years ago I made the difficult decision to go with an automatic. To me, autos aren’t proper cars, and they don’t require proper driving, especially with cruise control. You don’t drive them, you sit and ride in them while steering a bit. Mind … More Is driving an auto real driving?
It looks like Sir Peter Jackson’s movie museum is going to go ahead in central Wellington. Possibly including the ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’ car built by Alan Mann for the 1968 movie of the same name, which Jackson owns. When I was a kid, my sister had the Dinky toy version of that car. Jackson, … More The story of the REAL Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
Last week I was out for a pre-Christmas lads’ get-together – where we inevitably talk engineering or bloke stuff – and managed to mention somebody so obscure that several people reached for their phones and that old standby, Google. Has anybody heard of Ernest Eldridge and Mephistopheles? No? I’ll tell you. Ernest Arthur Douglas Eldridge was an English … More The incredible Ernest Eldridge and his adventures with Mephistopheles
You must be logged in to post a comment.