Eichardt’s provides novel setting


An author who’s set part of her first historical novel in Queenstown’s Eichardt’s Private Hotel is appropriately hosting a book event there this Saturday.

Set in 1892, Aucklander Tess Redgrave’s Gone to Pegasus revolves around two female characters heavily involved in Dunedin’s suffragette movement – women win the right to vote a year later.

One of their husbands plots to send them on holiday to Queenstown, where they stay at the splendid Eichardt’s Hotel.

The hotel’s proprietor Julia Eichardt also hogs the limelight because she’s such a strong woman, Redgrave says.

The author has a disclaimer in the book because the Eichardt’s section’s set in July that year, two months after Eichardt died.

“She wasn’t a suffragette and yet she was everything that suffragettes were.”

Redgrave notes that women at that time ran all of Queenstown’s hotels.

In the book, one of the main characters also takes a trip to the Greenstone Valley, at the head of Lake Wakatipu.

Redgrave says she’s familiar with the area, having worked as a Routeburn Track guide one summer during her Otago University holidays.

Her 19th century historical novel has been published by Wellington-based Makaro Press.

Redgrave’s holding a book reading, signing and talk at Eichardt’s Private Hotel’s The Parlour, on Marine Parade, from 4pm this Saturday.