Author(s): R.D. Mercer
The central theme of Mine Alone is the unrelenting struggle of an emigrant mining engineer from Staffordshire for recognition in colonial New Zealand. Mine Alone is a New Zealand history centred in the years 1894 to 1904 in the wider Nelson region. The history is told through the eventful lives of Joseph and Annie Taylor, their extended family, friends, acquaintances and adversaries. Their story begins in the coal mines, potteries and towns of Staffordshire, England, before their emigration to New Zealand in 1894. In telling this story many other themes are also explored, including emigration to New Zealand from late nineteenth-century England, the early days of north-west Nelson, coal mining, church affairs, and local identities. The result is a fascinating insight into the everyday life of small communities of that time and the trials, tribulations and social relationships that might be found.