Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Holding on to Home: stories behind the many treasures

Holding on to Home: stories behind the many treasures

Te Papa Press releases a compelling illustrated history of New Zealand’s First World War experience, rich in objects and personal stories.

Historians Kate Hunter and Kirstie Ross have scoured museums and archives across the country to source personal wartime possessions. The result is Holding on to Home: Stories and objects of the First World War, a powerful new history based on nearly 300 taonga from 28 different museums, archives and personal collections across New Zealand.

Co-author Kirstie Ross, Te Papa’s Curator Modern New Zealand, says ‘Each of these objects holds a hidden story; the grains of sand from Egypt in a soldier’s jacket; the red, white and blue beads strung together by a woman who longed for peace. Even seemingly ordinary objects can be imbued with powerful meaning in a time of war. In Holding on to Home, we’ve brought these stories to life for readers.’

As the Gallipoli centenary approaches, many people are taking the time to reflect on a war that left few New Zealand families untouched. Associate Professor Kate Hunter explains, ‘The metaphor of touch – of holding – became very resonant for us as we wrote.

What is astonishing is the extraordinary tenderness with which New Zealanders held on to each other during and after the war. More than any memorial, the line of kisses at the bottom of letter after letter speaks to me of sacrifices made by families, lovers and friends during this conflict.”

The timely publication of Holding on to Home provides not only a fresh perspective on the First World War, but also valuable insights into the lives of New Zealanders during a time of conflict, what they treasured and why.

The book ranges from the home front to the battlefront, and from war to recovery, but its focus never wavers from ordinary people and the things they held on to, setting it apart from other histories of the war.

Publisher Claire Murdoch says this is echoed in the book’s look and feel. ‘Anna Egan-Reid has created a beautiful design. The rounded edges of the book, its uncoated paper stock and subtly unfinished look outwardly mimics the shape of a soldier’s diary or a scrapbook of the period. Readers can get right up close to the objects featured, talismans really, from 100 years ago. This is a really special book.’

Holding on to Home: Stories and objects of the First World War is part of Conflict & Identity, Te Papa’s four-year, multi-disciplinary programme of research, discussion and reflection on the dynamics of conflict and its impact on our identity in Aotearoa New Zealand.


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Worldly And Unworldly

"Being Magdalene" by Fleur Beale The situations shown in this youth novel are shocking, scary, and very moving as we experience Magdalene’s struggle to be a perfect girl as defined by the cruel and unreasonable leader of “The Children of the Faith”, as she moves reluctantly into young womanhood. More>>

Whistle Stop: Netball NZ To Implement New INF Rules

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) will implement the new Official Rules of Netball, as set down by the International Netball Federation (INF), from January 1, 2016. Key changes include the elimination of whistle following a goal, amendments to injury time and changes to setting a penalty. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Waiata Aroha

Vaughan Rapatahana on Chappy by Patricia Grace: With this eminently readable novel Patricia Grace returns to the full-length fiction stage after a hiatus of ten years. More>>

'Ithaca' At Q Theatre: Introducing NZ's World Class Cirque Troupe

NZ’s very own cirque troupe is set to become a household name with the premier of its adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey having secured a key season in Auckland. More>>

Music Awards: The Tuis Are Broody This Year

Topping off a sensationally eventful year both at home and internationally, Nelson born brother-sister duo Broods has taken home four Tuis from this year’s 50th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>


Sport: Richie McCaw Retires From Rugby

Richie McCaw has today confirmed he is hanging up his boots and retiring from professional rugby. The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and most capped All Black of all time has drawn the curtain on his stunning international career which started in Dublin 14 years ago, almost to the day, and ended in London last month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup aloft for the second time. More>>


John McBeth: On Jonah Lomu

For many New Zealanders, the enormity of Jonah Lomu's reputation will have come as a surprise... His deeds were watched and enthused over by movie stars and musicians, politicians and superstars from other codes. He reached into the lives and homes of millions and mixed with famous people most New Zealanders would only have read about. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news