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By Eric H. McCormick

Eric McCormick was once, from approximately 1940 until eventually his loss of life in 1995, considered one of New Zealand's so much special writers and students. He pioneered the appreciation and examine of the painter Francis Hodgkins, and he wrote a number of biographies. The autobiographical fragments amassed right here were edited to make a coherent quantity, tracing his origins in Taihape, to college and college in Wellington, to schoolteaching in Nelson, to Cambridge and during his wartime reports and position as editor of Centennial guides. It comprises his smart observations of social behaviour, recorded with a dry wit.

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At Eric’s death his papers were bequeathed to the Alexander Turnbull Library, and I owe special thanks to David Colquhoun, Curator of Manuscripts and Archives, for allowing me to retain those I was working on. Linda Gill and James Ross have allowed me to use, with minor amendments, the Chronology and Bibliography from Writing a New Country: A Collection of Essays Presented to E. H. McCormick in His 88th Year, which they edited with Stuart McRae. BRIEF CHRONOLOGY AND BIBLIOGRAPHY 1906 Born 17 June, Taihape, second child and only son of W.

She was there, and that was about it. Perhaps the two years between us formed an unbridgeable gulf; perhaps we were too different in our temperaments and interests. I am certain she was ashamed that her younger brother was considered girlish and had a natural attraction for bullies. I was superficially brighter than she was. She did not have my delight in words, although oddly enough one subject at which she excelled was spelling. She was a far better speller than I. She won at spelling bees which were sometimes put on as part of a social function.

Only one stands out distinctly — the Germans. It was set by a visiting inspector and when elaborating it I drew on a series of articles I had lately read in, I think, the London Magazine. The thesis was, briefly, that the Germans were nice people who had been led astray by the wicked Kaiser. I knew my essay was good and the inspector took it away with a few others. For weeks I waited for some sign — a prize, a letter of praise, my name in the paper — but nothing ever happened. My fluency with words brought no immediate fame, yet, more than anything else, it resulted in some scholastic success.

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