Letters Between a Pioneer Wairarapa Family and Relatives in Rural England, 1856-1883.
Published by Wairarapa Archive (2006). Paperback.
Dear Sister is the remarkable, possibly unique, correspondence encompassing nearly 30 nineteenth century years, largely between two sisters, Margaret and Jane Bonsall. Both lived in farming districts, but very different ones a world apart from each other, with letters the only way of retaining family links. Jane Oates moved to a hard, pioneering life in the Wairarapa Valley in New Zealand; Margaret Morten remained in England's Derbyshire Peak District among her immediate and extended family. Both showed immense spirit and courage in the face of legal and practical powerlessness. Apart from fascinating detail of daily life, Dear Sister's matter-of-fact recounting of living conditions, unremitting labour, illness and its often fatal consequences will be revelation to today's readers. Also, there is an affecting poignancy about the sense of loss and, at times, despair shared by two sisters who know they will never meet again.
CONDITION: Has a neatly written inscription on the F.F.E.P. explaining a relationship to characters in the book. Slight bumps to corners. Clean and bright throughout. (See photos)