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William Smart – Pioneer Gold Prospector and West Coast Adventurer – From Author Hilary Low
Wed 29 Nov @ 7:00 pm
Hilary Low will talk with us about her most recent book, Pay Dirt: The Westland Goldfields, from the diary of William Smart (2016), tells the story of how English settler William Smart left Christchurch in 1862 to prospect for gold in the uncharted wilderness of the West Coast.
While researching her first book, Hilary discovered the early Canterbury settler, William Smart, and his story. In 1863 he too crossed to the West Coast, and later produced a brilliant written and illustrated account of his life there before the gold rushes, his search for a gold field and his close association with local Māori. Trampers will appreciate William’s colourful descriptions of long distance treks with his Māori friends. From them he learned their ways of bush travel and survival on the Coast.
Hilary’s first book, Pushing his Luck: Report of the Expedition and Death of Henry Whitcombe by Jakob Lauper (2010), was about Whitcombe and Lauper’s harrowing journey across the Southern Alps to the West Coast in 1863.