On Becoming “Colonially Bitten”. The Reminiscences of John George Cooke and his Sojourn to Aotearoa New Zealand, 1841 – 1850

Helene Connor

Abstract


This article draws on excerpts from the unpublished Reminiscences of John George Cooke (1819–1880) with a focus on the period he lived in Aotearoa New Zealand from 1841 to 1850.

The article commences by providing some of Cooke’s background as an upper-class Englishman with a brief career in the navy and army.    It then discusses the reminiscences in the context of archival research and briefly outlines how Cooke came to write his memoir.   The term “colonially bitten” is taken from Cooke’s memoir.  It was the term he used to explain his desire to leave England and spend some time in the British colony of New Zealand. Quotes from Cooke’s observations and insights contextualise the article, historically, socially and culturally.  



Keywords


John George Cooke (1819–1880); upper-class Englishman; Victorian memoir; Māori and Pākehā relationships in colonial Aotearoa New Zealand; Ngātata; Taranaki

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