The evening of Thursday 23 November saw Unity Books host Wellington author and scholar Dr Pamela Hyde for the launch of her first book A Colonial Naturalist: Henry Suter’s Life of Discovery and Hardship in New Zealand.
Pamela’s research into the life of her familial forebear, pioneering Swiss naturalist Henry Suter, took her to Switzerland and Germany, not to mention the farthest reaches of New Zealand’s dustiest archives, which often housed correspondence Suter had dispatched to distant shores in his lifetime. Suter’s life reads like an extraordinary work of fiction, fleeing bankruptcy in Switzerland in hopes of finding employment in the sciences in New Zealand, the German-speaking naturalist found, in Hyde’s words, ‘poverty and despair’. Never the less, Suter made it his life’s work to record his adopted country’s flora and fauna.
Friends and admirers queued politely to sing the praises of a significant work of research and an engrossing read. Pamela was joined for the evening by fellow author and historian Simon Nathan, Ian St George and writer Rhonda Pritchard, who officially launched the book to rapturous applause from the close to capacity crowd.
A Colonial Naturalist by Pamela Hyde, published by Sphenodon is available in store and at Unity Books Online now.