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The Treaty of Waitangi had been in place for only two years when the London set out from England with a full shipload of wannabe pioneers. Driven by a variety of motives, many of them related to poverty and lack of positive expectations, they responded to slick advertising and set out for a new life at the other end of the world.
Jenny Robin Jones has created a startling record of life on board the London. By imaginatively stowing away alongside her ancestor Rebecca Remington. The narrative vividly pieces together the days at sea on this floating microcosm using the journal of the ship’s surgeon and that of a cabin passenger. Combined with the portrayal of the sometimes arduous voyage are accounts of the Wellington settlement as the pioneers will find it and the historical events they will become caught up in.
Coming face-to-face with the 258 emigrants, we discover the lives they left behind and their dreams for the future — who will flourish, who will founder and who won’t even make it to their new homeland.
Rich in historical detail and human spirit, No Simple Passage is narrative non-fiction at its most immediate and compelling.