Plymouth, New Zealand: Edmonson and Avery "Taranaki News Office" 1878. First Edition. Leather bound. [INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR] Octavo : pp.  vii (viii) 311 (312-14); photo frontis. with tissue guard : marbled endpapers and gilt dentelles : a.e.g. : full leather : triple blind ruled border enclosing a single rule gilt embossed border on both boards : four raised bands to spine whsih is decorated in blind and gilt and lettered in gilt. Housed in custom made slip-case.
Boards are scuffed, corners and joints rubbed and lower board has an indentation (10 x 10 x 2mm) in the middle towards the spine : title page and tissue foxed : three gift inscription on title page : mostly clean throughout with occasional toning and fox mark : two loosely inserted clippings.
The uppermost inscription on the title page is from "Benj Wells" to his daughter M. A. Whitcomb [Mary Archer] and dated 1878. The next inscription is to C.A. [Charles Aubrey] Whitcombe with love from Mother and dated 1940. A third inscription further down the page reads, "Michael Tait, 1977, from mother with love" Very good. Item #1545
Benjamin Wells (1824-1881) was a pioneer colonist that arrived from England to New Zealand in 1849. He took up land in Taranaki but together with his family was driven into New Plymouth during the Maori uprising. He served as a militiaman, a school teacher and in 1874 became editor of the Taranaki News, a position he held until his death. He and his wife had three sons and two daughters. His daughter Mary Archer (1848 - 1942) also had several children and not much is known about Charles Aubrey (1876 - ?) except that he served as private during WWI. I have not been able to find a connection between Michael Tait and the Wells-Whitcomb family.