(Anti?) Colonial Women Writing War

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New Zealand Geographer, ISSN: 0028-8144, Vol: 56, Issue: 1, Page: 22-29

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Morin, Karen M.
Social Sciences; Earth and Planetary Sciences
article description
This paper examines the wartime literature of Sarah Selwyn, Mary Ann Martin, and Caroline Abraham, all wives of prominent church and government men in colonial Aotearoa/New Zealand. Along with their husbands these women became leading participants in the 'pamphlet war' surrounding the justice and legality of the colonial government's survey and confiscation of Maori land at Taranaki, c. 1850-1860. I analyze the socio-spatial frameworks of these colonial women, linking them with their protest narratives of the Taranaki confiscations and ensuing war. The anti-colonial position articulated by these women must be viewed within the context of ideological constraints on women's participation in public life, but also within the context of expanded social and spatial boundaries of such high-placed colonials, the gendered space of the episcopal residences during wartime, the women's networks of communication, and their material and discursive links to public arguments taking place in England over colonial conflicts.