Travel writing and the first Marists in New Zealand
Jennings, W. (2010). Travel writing and the first Marists in New Zealand. Studies in Travel Writing, 14(4), 345-364.
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/4939
French Marist missionaries arrived in New Zealand in 1838 and travelled extensively throughout the country during the next two decades. The letters they sent to France, now published in Girard's Lettres recues d'Ocanie (2009), include accounts of journeys that reveal the Marists' different perspectives of New Zealand's landscape and inhabitants. French romanticism and their religious vows emphasised a spiritual connection with the landscape, in sharp contrast with prevailing utilitarian European views. The Marists' status as Frenchmen in a British colony meant they encountered two alterities: British and Maori. Influenced by the noble savage of the French Romantics and by anti-Protestant bias, the Marists portrayed Maori favourably, reserving their more hostile comments for the British missionaries.