Good Luck, Dear Girl: A turn of the century romance

Duncan Puckle emigrated from England to New Zealand in 1884. He was eighteen years old. He spent four years learning about sheep farming before buying his own farm in Pahiatua, the North Island. An outspoken – particularly in ‘letters to the editor’ – and outgoing young man he was prominent in the political, social and sporting life of Pahiatua. He married Gertrude Moore, a friend of Henry Lawson, who had her own creative talents. Duncan spent 23 years in New Zealand before he and Gertrude migrated to Australia – Tasmania and then Somerville in Victoria. The lives of Duncan and Gertrude illustrate the social history of New Zealand and Australia from the 1880s to the first half of the 20th century in Victoria.

‘The great merit of this book is that Olson has succeeded in intertwining individuals in her family history with their intimate connection in the society and culture to which they belonged. The conditions of life for middle class migrants in late nineteenth century  New Zealand and early twentieth century Australia are brought to life in sometimes surprising and unexpected ways. Both the research and her prose are impressive.  The last chapter contains postcards from the family memorabilia – an appropriate visual commentary on a splendid evocation of the lives and times of individuals so convincingly portrayed in this book.’

Professor Harry Heseltine

This book has 19 chapters, over 200 full colour silk stock pages,  informative endnotes,  a comprehensive index, an extensive bibliography and many colour and black and white pictures.