Diggers, Hatters and Whores: The Story of the New Zealand Gold Rushes

The gold rushes from the 1850s to the 1870s were the biggest event in the history of colonial New Zealand. Diggers, Hatters and Whores aims to bring to life, through fresh accessible writing and beautiful images, the thrilling and often desperate quest for the ‘royal metal.’ The book opens with a survey of worldwide gold rushes, when for the first time in history a vast army of diggers began to swarm from continent to continent, then looks at the rushes of Golden Bay, Otago, the West Coast and the Thames. Afterwards, various themes of the rushes are examined systematically.


Edmund Bohan: ‘simply the best and most lively overall historical account I have yet come across of the world’s great goldrushes … written in a forthright and racy style.’

Nicholas Reid: ‘capacious, lavishly illustrated and lively … one of the three books of the year I’ve enjoyed most.’

Lawrence Jones: ‘big, rollicking … sweat, scandal, sex and money.’

Michael Field: ‘a tour de force … immensely readable, an important work and an inevitable high flier for book awards.’

http://schroedingerstabby.blogspot.com: ‘Stevan Eldred-Grigg’s magisterial history of the New Zealand gold rushes almost reads like a vast and brilliant novel in the vein of Moby Dick.’



Random House, Auckland 2008

ISBN 978-1-86941-925-7