Shadbolt, Maurice (Francis Richard) 1932-2004

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SHADBOLT, Maurice (Francis Richard) 1932-2004

OBITUARY NOTICE— See index for CA sketch: Born June 4, 1932, in Auckland, New Zealand; died October 10, 2004, in Taumarunui, New Zealand. Author. Shadbolt was an award-winning writer of nonfiction, novels, and short stories set in his native New Zealand. After attending Auckland University College, he worked for a time for the Taranaki Daily News and as a director and scriptwriter of documentaries for the New Zealand National Film Unit. He spent some peripatetic years traveling to such places as Australia, Russia, Bulgaria, and China, before moving to England, where he published his short-story collection The New Zealanders (1959), which won the Hubert Church Memorial Award. Moving back to his homeland, he continued to write fiction while supplementing his income with nonfiction works, such as the cowritten New Zealand: Gift of the Sea (1963). With his first novel, Among the Cinders (1965; revised edition, 1984), Shadbolt began to build a reputation as an author of historical fiction that combined descriptions of stunning New Zealand scenery with a mix of reality and mythology. His approach drew varied critical responses, with some reviewers finding him an original, serious author, while others felt he was a popularizer of history and that his style was derivative. Despite such views, Shadbolt repeatedly earned praise and honors for his books, including two Katherine Mansfield awards, three James Wattie awards, the 1981 New Zealand Book Award, and being named a commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1989. Among his most notable books are The Lovelock Version (1980), and the trilogy of novels about the wars between natives and British colonizers, including Season of the Jew (1987), Monday's Warriors (1990), and House of Strife (1993). Toward the end of his life, he completed three autobiographical works, One of Ben's: A New Zealand Medley (1993), Dove on the Waters (1996), and From the Edge of the Sky (1999).



Shadbolt, Maurice, One of Ben's: A New Zealand Medley, David Ling, 1993.

Shadbolt, Maurice, Dove on the Waters, David Ling, 1996.

Shadbolt, Maurice, From the Edge of the Sky, David Ling, 1999.


Independent (London, England), October 16, 2004, p. 57.

New York Times, October 17, 2004, p. A31.

Times (London, England), October 23, 2004, p. 50.