‘Moira draws on a remarkable collection of family material, augmented by other sources, to tell a tale of achievements and distress. All is told with uninhibited honesty – and in the process she reveals much about the politics of what in New Zealand was still a small-scale society in which family meant much and scandal, especially when exploited, threatened all.’

Stephen Constantine

Emeritus Professor of History, Lancaster University, UK


'Sailors, Settlers & Sinners is a wonderful social and personal history. I could barely turn a page without reading something that I felt I could relate to. This is a real history of real people, what their concerns were and what was important to them. There were parts that made me laugh out loud (in empathy) and parts that made me well up. It is an excellent historical document. With the recent government initiative to promote the teaching of New Zealand history in schools, this book will provide a wonderful resource.’

David Simes, Auckland, New Zealand


‘Fascinating and lushly informative.’

Kathryn Hollinrake

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‘Thoroughly researched, often quoting original sources, Sailors, Settlers & Sinners brings freshness and an authentic sense of how it felt to escape from prison, to journey to the other side of the world, to break ties with one’s country and make ties with another, to work for good, to commit terrible crimes … It is a glimpse into a dozen or more real lives, crammed with adventure, unexpected good fortune, kindness, cruelty and deceit. Masterly!’

Dr Paul Dennison

Greenwich University, UK


‘Fascinating stories. Moira Taylor has mastered the combination of detail, description, analysis and comment to provide a dynamic, arresting narrative.’

Janet Wilson

Professor of English and Postcolonial Studies,
University of Northampton, UK

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‘I absolutely loved this book! It’s a real page turner, beautifully written with an enthralling storyline from start to finish and should be standard reading in all our schools.’

Angela Mary St John Gifford

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‘Moira Taylor exhibits her wide-ranging historical research in engaging prose.’

Shipping News

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