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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

Heart of the City by Edmund Bohan


Edmund Bohan is a highly respected historian, and he details the Christ Church Cathedral’s extraordinary past in this handsomely produced hardback, generously illustrated with black & white and colour photographs.


It makes for a fascinating read, from the concept in 1848 as a grand design for a Church of England settlement, right through to the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 and the debates and court cases since.


At the heart of this book is the Cathedral, an iconic symbol of Christchurch, visited by numerous tourists and a place of devotion and worship for many years. The debate over whether it should be demolished, rebuilt or restored in recent times has dominated news reports for the past decade, so it was fascinating to learn just how controversial the cathedral was back in history. Edmund Bohan leaves no stone unturned as he examines every aspect of this famous cathedral’s past, and in doing so, he also brings to life the many people who have worked or worshipped there.


Heart of the City is written in a highly readable way that draws you into the many aspects of this particular history. That the book is expertly researched is in no doubt, the readability makes it a joy to read, and the many illustrations peppered throughout also bring the book to life.


I came away with an appreciation of the cathedral’s past in the context of Christchurch’s history and also wider New Zealand. This is a must-read for all history buffs and anyone interested in Christchurch’s past and future.


Reviewer: Karen McMillan

Quentin Wilson Publishing

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