I found a copy of this old coffee-table book by Dick Scott in Greg Brimblecombe's little boutique secondhand bookshop "Dustjackets" in Thames the other day. It's a 1969 Reed reprint of the original 1962 edition, published by a certain Ronald Riddell (any relation of Ron Riddell the poet, I wonder?)
Since this blurb was first written in 1962, of course, Dick Scott has published quite a lot more. You can find a good discussion of his work here. The most famous one is, I suppose, Ask That Mountain (1975), about Parihaka. My personal favourite, though, is Seven Lives on Salt River (1979), about the Kaipara harbour and its curious highways and byways.
On getting home and looking through the book a bit more thoroughly, I found the above inscription written on the half-title.
But is this our Hone? Hone Tuwhare? And who's Lindsay? Lindsay Rabbitt, the poet? Someone else? None of my business, of course, but one does feel a bit curious.
To check, I went to my own copy of Mihi, signed for me by Hone on a rainy day in 1998.
So let's compare them:
I don't think there's much doubt that the "Hone" in question is definitely Hone Tuwhare. The elaborate "H" is enough to give it away even if there weren't so many other similarities.
That's not all there is in the book, though. Here's Dick Scott's introduction:
But then, on turning to p.29, I found an old letter nestled in beside the image below (ignore the rubric on the left, which refers to another image on the same page which I haven't reproduced):
Here's the letter:
A bit of rummaging around on the internet an Otago Daily Times article about the fact that "Fern Tree Cottage," now renamed "Ferntree Lodge" and described as "Dunedin's oldest house," is not only still standing, but was sold a couple of years ago after having belonged to "convicted fraudster Michael Swann." Here's a picture of it now, more than fifty years after Dick Scott's book first appeared:
So there you go, a Christmas gift that keeps on giving, forty years down the track …
Ans Westra: Hone Tuwhare at the side of James K. Baxter's grave (Hiruharama, October 1972)