Pleasures of the Flesh: Sex and Drugs in Colonial New Zealand, 1840-1915
Early New Zealand colonists felt relatively unrestrained, both legally and socially, by many of the moral standards of the mother country. Maoris knew little of them and cared even less.Not that New Zealand was a sensual paradise. Society encouraged its men in the pursuit of pleasure but adultery, prostitution, incest, alcoholism and sexual ignorance brought misery to many people and often made victims of colonial women. The rise of the puritan movement is frequently thought to have largely eliminated the licentiousness of the earlier period, but this book argues that this was not so. The puritans were vigorous propagandists but they enjoyed only limited success against the vested interests of the liquour trade, the social customs of the majority of New Zealanders and, most significantly, the emerging modern lifestyles of the twentieth century. This offeres an analysis of the combination of Christian and non-religious strands in our social life.
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