The Passing Away of the Land

By Arthur Desmond

The first ever known printed publication by Arthur Desmond is "The passing Away of the Land" - on the alienation of Māori land, written in 1885.

Presented here is the 2nd edition of "The Passing Away of the land" printed and published by the author himself Arthur Desmond (Ragnar Redbeard). Inscription on the pamphlet/manifestos title page reads:

"Me huri huri e koe tenei kupu o aku"

"Presented to Sir Geo Grey with the compliments of the author - criticism acceptable"

*Many thanks to The Auckland Council Libraries,

Sir George Grey Special Collections

Tā Hori Kerei - Ngā Kohinga Taonga Whakahirahira

Arthur Desmond wrote the pamphlet/manifesto "The Passing Away of the Land" in the Māori language te reo and it includes parts translated from Henry George's "Progress and poverty."

Arthur Desmond's signature from the title page:

*If interested we have collected some articles from 1884 written by Arthur Desmond under one of his alluring pseudonyms Keo Kaha.

(Click here for the book "Arthur Desmond: A Radical Demagogue.")

Besides from his te rea writings in 1884-1885, we will not see more of it until he publish the book Rival Caesars: A Romance of Ambition, Love, and War, 1903, Thurland & Thurland. Written under the pseudonym DESMOND DILG.

Might is Right ends:  "P.S. Book II will be issued when circumstances demand it." The 1903 novel Rival Caesars is that book.



By Arthur Desmond

The Passing Away of the Land – Pamphlet by Arthur Desmond 1885. Mr Arthur Desmond of Hawke's Bay, has had printed and circulated amongst the Maoris a pamphlet of 32 pages, called The Passing Away of the Land.” Some parts of the pamphlet are translations from Henry George's "Progress and Poverty." The scope of the work is to warn the natives against the evils of land monopoly, and encouraging them to sell to individuals in small blocks rather than to large companies, and to show the justice of a land tax.

Wairarapa Standard, 15 July 1885

*When we have a translation it will be posted here.