‘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 It is an excellent historical document.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

‘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

‘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

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

Shipping News

'Sailors, Settlers & Sinners made a huge impression on me. It is now over a year since I read it but the recollections are very strong. Apart from the excellent writing, two things that stood out for me were the depth of the research and how fortunate Moira Taylor was to be able to access that level of detail. Secondly, the remarkable parallel to my wife Julie’s ancestry (and mine to a lesser extent) is amazing. In that sense it must be a tale that should resonate with many New Zealanders.'

Gerald Weenink, Wellington, New Zealand

‘I loved this book! As family history I’ve never read better. The sheer volume of detail, so impeccably researched, is nothing short of breathtaking…. The account is both highly original and as entertaining as the most exciting novel.

The contrast between England in the nineteenth century with its genteel stuffiness and limitations and the aspirations of a new world of opportunity and daring, is beautifully expressed. The book gives one heart, as well as the pleasure of an exciting tale of the sea, the sailors, as well as the inevitable sinners. It’s a book to cherish, and perhaps to learn from.’

Amazon Customer, UK

‘Riveting social history … there is a lovely dynamic rhythm to the writing which makes the reading experience highly enjoyable.’

Juanita Homan, UK

‘Fascinating. If you’ve ever enjoyed watching ‘Who do you think you are?’ on TV, this book is for you... Moira Taylor has turned her own family history into a window onto middle-class life in the nineteenth century.’

Hillbilly, Amazon Customer, UK

‘It is well worth taking the time to read this fascinating book. I recommend Moira Taylor’s lively and well researched account to anyone who enjoys history reflected in the lives of ordinary people who achieve extraordinary things.’

LR, Amazon Customer, UK

‘I loved this book. It depicts a view of settler life that is complex, delicate, moving, entertaining and enlightening.’

Emma Hall, Australia