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An Adventurous Life – The high country & beyond


By William Bowes Clarkson IV

Paperback | English

4.8 (6 reviews)

Bill, like his forefathers in New Zealand, has led a life of purpose and interest, but not always following the conventional path a rural upbringing dictates. Born in Australia, growing up in New Zealand, marrying and settling into the routine of hill country farming while raising a family seemed life was destined to a future of stock husbandry, council meetings and Dog Trials with a retirement, reminiscing with a whiskey and walking stick close to hand.

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Additional information

165 × 244 mm
Paperback | 342 pages
Printed by
The CopyPress
Publication Date
November 2022
William Bowes Clarkson IV
Regional Interest
Canterbury, Marlborough, Otago

6 reviews for An Adventurous Life – The high country & beyond

  1. Judy Kitcher

    A great read and inspiring story for both young and old and not just for those living on the land.

  2. Tracey Wyatt

    I absolutely LOVED this book, a great read; highly recommended. Bill recounts in colourful detail, humour; yarns about a time and way of life most of us haven’t fully experienced. It should also be a great inspiration to go travelling after the kids leave home. You are never too old for new adventures…

  3. Alison Fletcher

    This is a book well worth reading , about the interesting travels and other activities, too many too mention, in the life of W.B. Clarkson I enjoyed the read !!

  4. Angus McBean Stewart

    A book full of surprises.
    Clarkson, both in life and in travel, doesn’t look for the beaten path, but more the one that instinctively interests him. In this way he became a magnet – attracted and open to people who want to talk to him. Inspirational in his enthusiasm and knowledge, having a very good memory also helps to drive the book forward with interesting details and anecdotes.
    Obviously very well-educated at school in Christchurch, Clarkson was quick to become an independent thinker when it came to joining the workforce, with these experiences enriched further by also working in a number of different countries. At one point in his far-reaching travels he even retraces the footsteps of a most illustrious English 18th Century ancestor – Thomas Clarkson – a leading early abolitionist who helped achieve the end of the British slave trade in 1807.
    The book he has produced is full of information he’s picked up which you don’t necessarily know yourself, or possibly didn’t even realise you wanted to know, until he draws your attention to it. In the best sense of the word this is an old-fashioned book – informative, descriptive and full of values – but very much up-to-date in its contents and the message of independent thought it relays.
    Possibly through no intention of his own, the author has managed to present a perfect snapshot – if you can distil 80 years of time into a snapshot – of the history of 20th Century New Zealand – particularly farming, exports, and just good old everyday family life – through his own story.
    This is obviously not a man who wanted to be told how to live his life. But probably the biggest take-away from reading this book is the boundless energy you can derive from forging your own path – with the very able and acknowledged help of a very intelligent and competent wife – and managing to make all the years of hard work and adventure seem relatively effortless, or at the very least inspirational.

  5. Rodney & Alethea Laredo

    There could hardly be a more action packed couple than Judy and Bill Clarkson. This age defying pair with their ‘can do ‘ attitude is inspirationally and humorously traced in Australian born Bill’s account of his early Aussie life, as a single lad discovering the back blocks of New Zealand and as a happily married family man in My Life as ‘WB’ IV. Here is an account of determination and guts, not only in NZ for this husband and wife team, but in a variety of self-made adventures around the globe. What comes across is a terrific affinity for people everywhere, irrespective of how or where they live. Raising a farming family of three girls and a son in the iconic Kiwi high country of the South Island is entertainingly documented. This is a first class autobiography of its type. In generations to come it will continue be a fascinating read.

  6. RAY DRAYTON ( Author- )

    An enthralling read supplemented by a variety of photographs to bring the story line to life.
    This book penned by an author who is ‘larger than life’ himself. A must read for any reader who is searching for a book typifying life of the High Country in terrain which is challenging and unforgiving at best. A stunning landscape aptly described by the author, so descriptive the pages take the reader into the midst of special people who live and work this unique landscape. This is a story told down through generations of High Country families who continue the traditions farming this rugged environment and whose forefathers created history.
    William (Bill) Bowes Clarkson is one of these men.

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