In the first 40 years of the twentieth century, James Cowan was one of New Zealand’s most widely read non-fiction writers. He wrote over 30 books and hundreds of articles for newspapers and magazines, mainly about New Zealand’s ancient and recent past, its resources and scenic attractions. During his lifetime his writing did much to shape the way New Zealanders perceived their history.
Written in two volumes: Volume One, The North Island, Volume Two, The South Island. In these works, James Cowan has endeavoured to set before the reader a picture of the unusual quality and variety of New Zealand’s landscape beauty, and the attractive qualities for settlers, and to provide travelers with a reliable guide to many districts of interest in the Dominion. Numerous scenes and routes hitherto unknown to the tourist have been explored by the writer and are now described for the first time, and the romantic history and folk law associated with many of the places mentioned have been sketched.
Using his vast knowledge of New Zealand history James Cowan has included among the many wonderful black and white photographs the history of each area, including that of early European, Maori and the various battles between the two. The photographs throughout these volumes do entice you to want and go and take a look and serve to reiterate that we are the luckiest country in the world.